Inauguration of iCube, ANSES's new infectious disease research platform for animal health

iCube, ANSES's new infectious disease research facility, is being inaugurated today. Those attending the event include Stéphane Le Foll, Minister of Agriculture, Valérie Pécresse, President of the Ile-de-France regional council, Michel Herbillon, Mayor of Maisons-Alfort and Member of Parliament, Christian Cambon, Senator from Val-de-Marne and Monique Eloit, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). This new level-3 containment facility is devoted to the study and handling of highly-pathogenic animal viruses, and in particular foot-and-mouth disease. Its creation will strengthen ANSES-Maisons-Alfort's infectious disease research capacities and will promote scientific collaboration with the other Ile-de-France laboratories specialised in the field. 

ANSES's Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Animal Health is devoted to the study of infectious and contagious animal diseases. A leader on both the national and international levels, the laboratory covers all the fields of infectious disease research and has been conducting crucial work in the areas of animal and public health for 115 years. 

In order to reinforce the infectious disease research capacities of the Maisons-Alfort campus and promote scientific collaboration with other laboratories in Ile-de-France specialised in the field (ENVA, INRA, INSERM, Institut Pasteur), ANSES now has the iCube, a level-3 containment facility for infectious disease research. The facility received funding from the Ile-de-France region through the DIM MALINF major areas of interest for infectious diseases. 

The iCube facility, devoted to the study and handling of highly pathogenic animal viruses, will make it possible to do in-depth work on the foot-and-mouth disease virus, for which ANSES holds the national reference mandate as well as an OIE reference mandate. The iCube facility is a building with a high level of security for the manipulation of all types of emerging pathogens, in particular those transmitted by insects and ticks. With iCube, France is now equipped with state-of-the-art facilities in Ile-de-France to fight against major emerging and re-emerging diseases that can affect humans and animals, providing diagnosis, surveillance and prevention, in addition to treatment. 

iCube is a major asset for ANSES, and will enable it to pursue its research and reference work, in line with the "One Health" concept that is promoted jointly by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), along with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).