The Michelin Corporate Foundation takes action for scientific research. Very high growth in the automotive markets in emerging countries has led to a dramatic increase in rubber tree plantations for the production of rubber, principally in Southeast Asia. These crops provide stable employment in rural areas. But their development is accompanied by a worrying proliferation of mosquitoes which, in the plant cover of the canopy, find an ideal environment for reproduction and carry potentially deadly diseases (malaria, dengue, chikungunya, etc.). To contain this threat to health, at the start of 2015, the Institut Pasteur, at the forefront of treating infectious diseases, initiated an ambitious international research project to run over three years, led by teams of researchers from the Institut Pasteur of Laos and of Ivory Coast.
Conducted with support from the Michelin Corporate Foundation, it aims to identify all the risk factors through observations done in the natural environment, in Laos and then in Ivory Coast. The work will have two focuses: studying the numerous mosquito species proliferating under the canopy, and examination of the interactions between mosquito carriers and man (for example, during collection of sap from the trees, done during the day or at night). The information gathered will make it possible to determine the periods of maximum risk and to recommend behaviours that make it possible to limit the spread of the diseases in question. Summary publications will be made available to the scientific community, and the communities concerned will be informed about the behaviours to be adopted to reduce the risks of infection.
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