The Lancet Tenders 2022 adieu In memory of Louis Pastore. Born in France on December 27, 1822, Pastor was a young polymath as he embarked on a path of discovery with social relevance. At the age of 40, he was a national hero and an international authority on microbiology, vaccines and vaccines. His concept of germ disease laid the foundation for hygiene and sanitation in public and international health. In 1885, he developed the first human rabies vaccine. Together with the greatest scientists of his time, Pasteur shaped scientific attitudes and communication, creating a legacy that has fueled progress in human health for the past 150 years. Yet infectious diseases cause millions of unnecessary deaths. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Global Burden of Disease (GBD) data indicated that infections were associated with more than 20% of all deaths worldwide. GBD research in this special issue The Lancet It shows that 13·6% of all deaths worldwide are associated with 33 bacterial pathogens.

Obstacles to realizing Pasteur’s legacy in combating infectious diseases are highlighted in this issue. Alison Holmes and colleagues discuss technologies and strategies for advanced infection control and prevention in healthcare settings. Most hospital-acquired infections are now preventable. But infection control remains problematic in low-income countries, where implementation of basic simple practices is challenging and often unsolved. Bernadette Abella-Reeder and colleagues note the disproportionate burden of rabies, which still kills one person every 10 minutes despite effective vaccines to break the chains of transmission between humans and dogs. Salim Abdul Karim and Izukanji Sikazwe discuss the obstacles to Africa’s efforts to develop Covid-19 vaccines. Giles-Vernick and colleagues discuss the inequities and societal issues that challenge public health measures. It becomes clear that the failure to provide equal protection for all is the result of health inequities, interpersonal safety issues, and ineffective communication and community engagement that permeate social and political environments.

The infectious disease landscape of the 21st century is changing. Old and new pathogens are evolving under the pressure of man-made forces. Climate change is affecting the distribution and spread of pathogens. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and emerging zoonoses are profound concerns now and in the near future. More than a million people—and the number is likely to rise—die each year from the bacterium AMR, which disproportionately affects those with the weakest health care and sanitation infrastructure. Pandemics will become more common, but lessons from Covid-19 are being ignored. To combat such dangers, The Lancet The Commission on Learning for the Future from the COVID-19 Pandemic calls on governments and institutions to lead multilateral systems that foster international public health cooperation and collaboration.

The unstable social and political context in which we live is creating new public health challenges. Infodemic has seen the rapid spread of misinformation reaching people in a way that doesn’t offer expert advice. Vaccination hesitancy is now a major obstacle in the fight against infectious diseases, especially in high-income countries. Many parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children because of concerns about vaccine safety, despite assurances from doctors and public health officials. This reluctance reflects a broader decline in trust in the state and scientists. According to Ilana Lowe and William Baim, Pastor developed his public image to strengthen his support for research. He understood the power of knowledge, knowledge and information dissemination in public relations. Now, more than ever, the medical research community must develop creative and accurate science communication and public engagement skills to rebuild trust with a fragmented society, their work to save lives.

“In our century, science is the soul of nations’ prosperity and the living source of progress. Undoubtedly, the tiresome daily political discussions seem to be our guide – an empty face! – Here are some scientific discoveries and their applications that will lead us forward. These pastor’s words could not be more inspiring in the 21st century when polarized and unhealthy politics can dominate. Pastor understood that science was fundamental to human health, and that its values—scientific presence and involvement in public health crises—were central to efforts to prevent infectious diseases.

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