SHIONOGI's efforts against infectious diseases

COVID-19 part


    This pandemic, which is said to be a once-in-a-century sanitary crisis, will remain deeply ingrained in people’s memories. Amid widespread social anxiety over an invisible enemy, a virus, the WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020.


    Lockdowns and other movement restrictions implemented in many countries significantly changed people’s daily activities. Changes in lifestyle, fear of infection, the pain of losing loved ones, and so on. Anxiety with no visible way out spread throughout the world.


    Medical professionals and researchers were on the front line in the fight against the pandemic. Ordinary people also joined the fight, looking for a way out of the darkness and taking whatever measures they could. New methods of treatment and diagnosis and preventive measures have brought hope to society, and our daily life has gradually been returning to normal. Our experience will be the foundation for the fight against tomorrow’s infectious diseases.


  • 14th century

    The plague is caused by infection with plague bacilli. In ancient Rome and medieval Europe, it was called the “Black Death,” which raged several times, killing millions of people. In 14th century Europe, about one-third of the population at the time is said to have lost their lives. In fighting against the plague, people came up with the ideas of quarantine and personal protective equipment, and began to make efforts to improve the sanitary environment.

  • Smallpox

    • 18th century
    • Cholera

    • 19th century

      Cholera is a disease caused by ingesting water or food contaminated with cholera bacilli. Since the beginning of the 19th century, it has developed into explosive epidemics several times, seriously affecting the lives of people around the world. In particular, the spread of the disease was often reported in an environment lacking water sanitation. This reminded people of the importance of water and food sanitation.

    • Spanish flu

    • 20th century

      The Spanish flu (H1N1 subtype influenza A) suddenly broke out in 1918 and spread throughout the world. With around 500 million people estimated to be infected worldwide, the pandemic claimed the lives of tens of millions of people. This experience led to the beginning of new practices, such as wearing masks, and isolating patients for treatment.

    • SARS / MERS

    • 2002/2012

      In 2002, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), a new type of coronavirus, spread mainly in Asia and Canada. In 2012, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) broke out mainly in the Middle East, and spread to specific regions and countries due to human mobility. Since both were caused by the coronavirus and a high risk of a mass outbreak was confirmed, international cooperation was called for to respond quickly, share information, and take other necessary action.

    • New strains of

    • 2009

      It is known that a new strain of influenza emerges once every 10 to 40 years. The new strain of influenza A (H1N1) that broke out in Mexico in April 2009 and spread throughout the world caused a lot of confusion in governments, companies, citizens, etc. before it was judged to be at the level of an ordinary seasonal influenza, and eventually abated. Due to its high infectivity and speed of spread, the new flu strain had a significant impact on society and the economy at the time, and measures to suppress the epidemic, such as developing vaccines and communicating preventive measures, were implemented on a large scale.

  • Antimicrobial resistance


    Do you know that there are bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics?
    This is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is the cause of the deaths of more than 700,000 people worldwide each year. Also known as the silent pandemic, if no special measures are taken, the number of deaths from AMR is estimated to exceed that of cancer by 2050, reaching 10 million a year. Governments and health administrative organizations have identified AMR as a high-priority social issue at the national and regional/national levels that urgently need global action.

  • Three major infectious
    diseases: HIV/AIDS,
    and malaria


    These are known as the three major infectious diseases, still killing several millions of people each year, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. Although the spread of infection has been slowing down as a result of scientific advancement and a lot of international support over the past many years, it is still difficult to eradicate these infectious diseases.

  • Neglected tropical
    diseases (NTDs)


    Infectious diseases caused by parasites or bacteria prevailing mainly in tropical regions are called “neglected tropical diseases” (NTDs) because they have not been considered as major diseases in advanced countries. NTDs are seen in 149 countries and regions around the world, threatening the lives of more than 1 billion people and causing billions of dollars in damage to low- and middle-income countries each year.

SHIONOGI's efforts against infectious diseases