Researcher Recognized for HIV, TB Contribution

A Cambodian medical research­er has received international rec­ognition for a presentation on de­velopments in the treatment of pa­tients infected with both HIV and tuberculosis at a conference in France last week.

During a symposium of the In­stitut Pasteur International Net­work held in Paris from October 14 to 16, Nouhin Janin, a 35-year-old PhD student at the Universite Paris Diderot, was awarded best presentation among students affiliated with the 33 Pasteur institutes. 

Following the 2010 Camelia study of 128 co-infected Cambo­dians, Mr. Janin and a team from Institut Pasteur du Cambodge be­gan working to identify what causes a potentially deadly inflammatory reaction in some tuberculosis pa­tients upon receiving HIV treatment, he said. 

“It’s about the reaction of our immune system itself. It’s not about the resistance of TB against drugs and it’s not about the resistance of HIV against [antiretroviral treatment],” Mr. Janin said.

Instead, Mr. Janin’s team has been working for about three years to identify what causes some patients’ bodies—from 7 to 43 percent depending on the sample population—to have this inflammatory reaction during the rebuilding of the immune system.

“This kind of research helps in offering to the patients the best treatment—the type of drugs, quantity of drugs, the time the drugs are administered to the patient,” said Institut Pasteur du Cambodge di­rec­tor Didier Fontenille. “It is all these aspects that we are working on.”

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