3 minutes to understand the project

Deaths due to resistant bacteria in 2020

700,000 per year

Décès dus à des bactéries résistantes d'ici 2050

10 millions par an
Project news
June 2021

Launch of communication actions

While the final details of the project are being validated, communication actions are being launched to prepare the deployment of the Mini-Lab in the field in 2022: Mini-lab stand at the MSF 50th anniversary festival in Paris, presentation to the various operational centres, etc. These actions will be deployed throughout the second half of 2021. These actions will be deployed throughout the second half of 2021.

June 2021

Training of laboratory technicians at Carnot

The laboratory technicians, recruited in the Central African Republic to work in the Mini-lab installed in Carnot, follow a 4-week theoretical and practical training. At the end of this training, they will be able to analyse the samples received at the mini-lab.

April 2021

Publication of an article in Clinical Microbiology and Infection (CMI)

This article reviews the challenges of collecting data on antibiotic resistance in low- and middle-income countries, and describes how the Mini-Lab project developed by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is attempting to address this issue.


March 2021

Mini-Lab arrives in Bangui

After several months on a boat and some setbacks, the Mini-Lab has finally arrived in the Central African Republic. The six modules of this Mini-Lab, which is the second pilot to be deployed in the field, is destined for the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) programmes in Carnot, 430 km from Bangui.

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Project display

Facilitating access to microbiology laboratories and thereby providing better-quality diagnoses makes it possible to improve the care provided to patients in cases of septicaemia and to collect data on antibiotic resistance.

The purpose of the Mini-Lab project is to design and produce a small-scale, autonomous, transportable clinical bacteriology laboratory which is affordable and above all suited to the MSF’s fields of intervention. This concept, developed by MSF with its partners, is also intended to be made available to health care operators in countries with limited resources.

This laboratory, the Mini-Lab, will allow bacteriological tests essential to the diagnosis of certain infections to be carried out under field conditions. It will help to reduce the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance and will thus improve care for patients by adapting the prescription of antibiotics to the resistances encountered.

The Mini-Lab will also be able to be used to support clinical monitoring of antibiotic resistance, gather data to improve empirical treatment guidelines and assist in field studies on performance diagnosis, infections and prevention strategies. The target populations are hospitalised patients: seriously ill children co-infected with malaria, burns patients with suspected septicaemia, patients with HIV and suffering from fever, etc.

The Mini-Lab combines simplified logistics with robust techniques suitable for meeting the clinical needs of countries with moderate or low resources (LMICs) in which conventional clinical bacteriology is difficult to set up. These techniques are accessible to trained but non-specialist users.



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The team

//  Céline Franquesa

Project manager

In January 2021, Céline joined the team to finalise the development of the Mini-Lab and prepare the internal and external deployment of the Mini-Lab from 2022. Expert in managing various projects and with a strong entrepreneurial experience, she is now Project Manager.

© msf

//  Jean-Baptiste Ronat

Scientific and Technical Manager

Jean-Baptiste is a microbiologist specialised in bacteriology and antimicrobial resistance. After ten years working to set up and support laboratories in the field with MSF, he joined the team at the Paris headquarters to work on ways to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of microbial infections. Today, he is heading up the MiniLab project.


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modules constituting the laboratory benches
field pilots in 2020 and 2021
the Foundation’s contribution to the Mini-Lab project in 2019
Project history
December 2019
Carnot (Central African Republic) is chosen as the site of the second Mini-Lab pilot
July 2019
The first pilot was installed in the field in Haiti, at the severe burns unit in Drouillard, Port au Prince.
December 2018
First prototype:
The year ended with the assembly of the first prototype of the Mini-Lab on the MSF Logistics site (Bordeaux) and various tests were performed there: kitting, assembly and connection to water and electricity.
Development and tests in laboratory:
The project team and its partners perform evaluation tests to validate the most appropriate designs and techniques through various proofs of concept, at the Institut de Médecine Tropicale (IMT) in Belgium and at the Kremlin-Bicêtre laboratory.
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//  Antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance is the capacity of a bacterium to resist the effects of antibiotics.
Bacteria can be resistant to one or more antibiotics; we then speak of multiresistant bacteria (MRB).
Massive and inappropriate use of antibiotics worldwide is leading to a considerable increase in antibiotic resistance phenomena.
//  Antibiogram
An antibiogram is a laboratory technique aiming to test the sensitivity of a bacterium to one or more antibiotics, by placing a bacteria culture in the presence of antibiotic pellets and then observing the consequences for the development and survival of the bacteria.
//  Septicaemia
Generalised infection of the blood, usually of bacterial origin.
Hospitalised patients suffering from septicaemia are a target population of the Mini-Lab.
//  Mini-laboratory
The laboratory is reduced to 6 modules, which can be transported on only 3 standard pallets, and can be installed in 2 days on 15 m². It must be accessible to as many people as possible (moderate price, usable by other humanitarian actors) and has the qualities that are essential to the constraints of our fieldwork: robustness, ease of use, resistance to extreme climatic conditions, etc.
Our partners
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