Activities & projects / Projects / FSP Meningitis

Research into acute bacterial meningitis in Sahelian Africa


The “Support for research into acute bacterial meningitis in Sahelian Africa” programme is funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the framework of the Priority Solidarity Fund (FSP) and is a partnership between France and six African countries (Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and the Central African Republic).

Eight institutions are brought together within the FSP, namely:

§          CERMES (Health and Medical Research Centre, Niamey, Niger)

§          Centre Muraz (Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso)

§          Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) (Preventive Medicine Agency, Paris)

§          Institut Pasteur (Paris)

§          INRSP (National Institute for Public Health Research, Bamako, Mali)

§          Institut Pasteur in Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan)

§          Institut Pasteur in Bangui (Central African Republic)

§          Pasteur Centre in Cameroon (Annex in Garoua)

The three components of the program are:

Strengthening molecular biology and epidemiology research skills in the fight against acute bacterial meningitis and meningococcal epidemics in West Africa

Improving epidemiological monitoring of different agents of acute bacterial meningitis, particularly meningitis associated with different phenotypes and genotypes of endemic and epidemic meningococci.

Carrying out operational research into acute bacterial meningitis.


P. Boisier (epidemiologist, Pasteur Centre in Cameroon) is responsible for the scientific coordination of the program. J. Mueller (epidemiologist, AMP) is the programme coordinator for epidemiology. JM Collard (microbiologist, CERMES) and BM Njanpop-Lafourcade (biologist engineer, AMP) provide coordination on laboratory issues.


The idea for FSP Meningitis occurred in 2001 at the time of the first major recorded epidemic of meningitis linked to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W135 in Burkina Faso. It became apparent that the countries in the African “meningitis belt” had an extreme lack of capacity for laboratory diagnosis of meningitis. The program was officially launched in January 2007 for a period of 3 years and began in May 2007 with the meeting of the scientific council. The start of activities in all participating countries was subject to the agreement being signed, which happened during the second half of 2007.