3 minutes to understand the project

Context
Deaths due to resistant bacteria in 2020

700,000 per year

Deaths due to resistant bacteria in 2050

10 million per year
Project news
September 2019

First brainstorming session on the outsourcing of the Mini-Lab.

In collaboration with outside players on the subjects of antibiotic resistance and diagnosis tools in LMICs, MSF has undertaken reflection on the outsourcing of the Mini-Lab product so that the concept can be of benefit beyond MSF’s activities.

July 2019

Deployment of the first prototype on an MSF site in Haiti

In June 2019, the first pilot was installed in the field in Haiti, at the severe burns unit in Drouillard, Port au Prince, to evaluate the ease of use of the laboratory. This installation was preceded by the recruitment of a field microbiologist, the validation of the study protocol and the transporting of the equipment and consumables necessary for the functioning of the laboratory.

February 2019

Test of the Mini-Lab in a controlled environment

The prototype of the Mini-Lab was tested at the Brussels University Hospital Laboratory for three weeks: assembly, testing of the workflow with novice users, testing of the equipment and technologies and visits of the various stakeholders.

December 2018

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.

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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.

Minilab

 

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The team

//  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.

© MSF

//  Albane Mazoyer

Project 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.

© MSF

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Numbers
6
modules constituting the laboratory benches
2
field pilots in 2020
€137,971
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.
2018-2019
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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Keywords
//  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.
//  Transportable mini-laboratory
The transportable laboratory must be accessible to as many people as possible (moderately priced and usable by other humanitarian organisations) and possess the qualities essential for the constraints of our sites: sturdiness, ease of use, resistance to extreme climatic conditions, etc.
Our partners
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