En Chine les épidémies de Virus deviennent des fois très importantes jusqu'à être mortelle. En 1894, Alexandre Yersin qui avait étudie avec Louis Pasteur (Le fondeur des vaccins) a découvert en une semaine la bactérie responsable pour la Blackdeath plague(Yersinia pestis) dans son laboratoire localise a Hong Kong Island Kennedy Town district.
The Institut Pasteur has long had important collaborations with Asia, beside those which still exist in Viet Nam and in Cambodia. In 1996, Mr Bernard Esambert, former chairman of the Institut Pasteur Board of Directors, discussed with Mr James Kung, chairman of the Chekiang First Bank. Thelatter told him he was keen to support the creation of an Institut Pasteur related Centre in China (in Hong Kong as a first step). In 1997, the General Consulate of France in Hong Kong materialized this initiative by organising a meeting between Pr Maxime Schwartz, former director of the Institut Pasteur, and the University of Hong Kong Vice-Chancellor. The latter offered to host and support thisinitiative, if it were made concrete. The final agreement was signed by Pr Philippe Kourilsky, former director of the Institut Pasteur. Through this collaboration with the University of Hong Kong, the Institut Pasteur revives its historical links with China, which happened to be one of the most important places for the discovery of emerging diseases.
Owing to the participation of France in themilitary occupation of China, the presence of French medicine was significant in China at the beginning of the XXth century, at a time when the idea to spread the concepts of Pasteur's vision was at its peak. As early as 1906, two projects for the creation of an Institut Pasteur in China were elaborated. A first one proposed Peking as the site for the creation, while the second one chose Chengdu, thecapital of Sichuan. After much difficulties, Docteur Aimé-François Legendre created an Institut Pasteur in that latter location in 1911. Its activity started with the arrival of its first director, Dr Jouveau-Dubreuil, and this Institute was active, despite the difficult political and military situation there, till 1927. Most of the work there consisted in preparing vaccine against small pox, withsome 400,000 doses annualy, and a very high percentage of success. Some equipment was also sent to Peking, but this did not result in the creation of an institute there, despite the onset of a terrible pulmonary plague epidemy, which reached Peking in 1911.
In the '40ies (from 1938 to 1950) a Pasteur Institute was created in Shanghai. This Institute, devoted to programmes in vaccination researchand vaccine production (vaccination against rabies and tuberculosis, ...), participated in vaccination campaigns against cholera. Collaborative efforts involving scientists from the Institut Pasteur in Paris and scientists from China are still actively ongoing today (Institut Pasteur's press release).
An agreement between The University of Hong Kong and the Pasteur Institute was signed on October16th, 1999 for the creation of the HKU-Pasteur Research Centre (HKU-PRC), a charitable organisation limited by guarantee with Hong Kong tax exempt status, controlled by a Board of Directors, chaired by Dr James Kung. The Centre was officially inaugurated on October 24th, 2000 and started under the direction of Pr Antoine Danchin and Pr Kwok-Yung Yuen, director and co-director of the Centre...