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.
An innovative solution against antibiotic resistance
The transportable clinical laboratory
The aim of the MiniLab project is to design and produce a portable laboratory that can be used in MSF’s operational contexts. The MSF Foundation has chosen to support this particularly innovative project.
With the MiniLab, MSF teams will be able to perform the bacterial analyses required to diagnose certain infections under field conditions. It will help to reduce antimicrobial resistance, improving the quality of care delivered to patients by enabling doctors to adapt antibiotic prescription to the resistance encountered.
Antimicrobial resistance, which is a major challenge in the field of health, is one of the World Health Organization’s urgent priorities. MSF took part in a debate at the United Nations in 2016 on the issue.
The transportable mini laboratory
The transportable mini laboratory must be accessible to the greatest possible number (affordable, can be used by other humanitarian actors) and designed to overcome all the challenges presented by the field environment: robust, simple to use, able to withstand extreme weather conditions etc.
Effective antibiotic treatments
Health care teams will have the support of the most sensitive and accurate laboratory analysis possible, enabling them to adapt the prescription of antibiotics to the resistances encountered.
The MSF Foundation’s contribution in 2017: €200,000
The transportable clinical laboratory at a glance
© Adriane Ohanesian
Coming activities: field evaluation, production and validation
The field team is going to conduct performance studies on a variety of techniques, look for the best industrial partners and then validate this innovation on several MSF pilot projects (testing, studies and monitoring and cost analysis).
Partnership with ENSAM
The transportable laboratory is being designed in partnership with the Laboratory for Product Design and Innovation (LCPI) at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers de Paris (ENSAM). Interview with Dr Fabrice Mantelet, lecturer and project manager at the LCPI.
© Shumpei Tachi/MSF
Preparation of the transportable kit and training
After the testing and development phases, the project team will start work on standardising the kit and developing training tools (user guides, technical procedures and tools for interpreting biological diagnoses).
© Bruno De Cock
Development and testing
The project team has finished drafting the mini laboratory’s specifications (reliable, easy to use, sturdy, etc.) and is now carrying out tests to validate the most suitable designs and techniques.
© Bruno De Cock/MSF
Identifying existing methods, techniques and materials, and their potential for improvement.
Scientific and Technical Manager
Albane joined the team in 2018 to support the progress of the project in the steps of construction of the first prototypes. With her extensive experience in project management in various sectors, she joined the headquarters of MSF Paris and will be responsible for the mini-lab project.
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