Accueil > Global outbreak alert and response


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

This course aims at providing a comprehensive understanding of the emergence of outbreaks and the way the global surveillance of infectious diseases is organised at national and international levels. Concepts of disease emergence and health threats will be described and several examples of past and recent outbreaks and their consequences will be developed. Operational and institutional mechanisms for the detection of and response to epidemics will be illustrated through the description of the various health security networks. Information and communication as well as cooperation processes will be developed.


  • FONTANET, Arnaud (Professeur, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers)
  • PORTEN, Klaudia (Director of intervention epidemiology and training)

Pedagogical format

Course participation is strongly encouraged, so that lectures are interactive.

Course validation

The final grade will be based on two components: Individual presence and participation (25%) ; A three to five page paper (75%) at the end of the semester. Each student will identify their own topic, with advice from the lecturers.


Reading of selected publications (one hour per seminar) plus lectures.

Required reading

  • Morse, S.S., Factors in the Emergence of Infectious Diseases. 1995. 1(1). Available at:
  • Epidemic intelligence: a new framework for strenghtening disease surveillance in Europe. Euro surveill. 1006; 11(12):pii=665, available at :
  • « International law and communicable diseases » available at :
  • An introduction to Epidemiology:

Additional required reading

Optional: Watch the movie: “Contagion” (Soderbergh - 2011)

Plans de cours et bibliographies

Session 1: Crossing the barrier species: a history of animals and humans.

  • Arnaud Fontanet (Institut Pasteur / Cnam)

Recommended readings:

  • Wolfe ND, Panosian Dunavan C, Diamond J.  Origins of major human infectious diseases.  Nature 2007;447:279-283
  • Weiss RA, McMichael AJ.  Social and environmental risk factors in the emergence of infectious diseases.  Nature Medicine 2004;10:S70-S77
  • Tebit DM, Arts EJ.  Tracking a century of global expansion and evolution of HIV to drive understanding and to combat disease.  Lancet Infect Dis 2011;11:45-56.

Session 2:  Epidemiological indicators and outbreak investigation.

  • Klaudia Porten (Epicentre)

Session 3: Communicable diseases: relations among pathogens, environment and hosts.  History of outbreaks and epidemiology (plague, influenza, cholera …).

  • Marc Gastellu-Etchegorry (Médecins Sans Frontières)

Session 4: Cholera outbreaks

  • Klaudia Porten (Epicentre)

Session 5: Hepatitis C

  • Arnaud Fontanet (Institut Pasteur/Cnam)

Session 6: Health security. International systems and regulations

  • Pat Drury (WHO)

Session 7: Crisis communication. Issues and challenges

  • Rony Brauman (Sciences-Po)

Session 8: Ebola

  • TBD

Session 9: Health security. European networks, systems and regulations

  • Thomas Mollet (ECDC)

Session 10: From risk detection to health crisis management

  • Didier Houssin (Agence d'évaluation de la Recherche et de l'enseignement supérieur)

Session 11: AIDS : the slow pandemic: history, consequences and lessons

  • Gilles Raguin (ESTHER)

Session 12: International technical cooperation in disease alert and control

  • Pierre Salignon (Agence Française de Développement)


Professor Arnaud Fontanet is a medical epidemiologist specializing in infectious diseases epidemiology.  After working at the WHO on HIV-AIDS, and spending three years in Thailand and five years in Ethiopia conducting research on malaria and HIV, Arnaud Fontanet joined the Institut Pasteur in Paris in 2002 and started the Emerging Diseases Epidemiology unit.  There, he coordinated the EPISARS project which aimed at preventing the re-emergence of SARS by controlling its animal reservoir, and he initiated a large collaborative research project on hepatitis C in Egypt.  Arnaud Fontanet is also Professor in Public Health at the Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers, and serves as the co-Director of the Pasteur-Cnam School of Public Health. In 2014, he was appointed as Director of the Centre for Global Health at Institut Pasteur.

Dr Klaudia Porten is a physician and worked several years in the field with MSF before becoming a medical epidemiologist specialized in infectious diseases.  After working for the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin she joined Epicentre, a satellite of MSF specialized in epidemiology. She is the director of intervention epidemiology and training in Epicentre.  She is a supervisor in the European Program for Intervention Epidemiology Training.