Search form

Presentation and missions of the Fougères Laboratory

Laboratory Director: Tahar Ait Ali

Address: 10B rue Claude Bourgelat, PA de la Grande Marche, Javené CS 40608 35306 Fougères Cedex

Tel: +33 (0) 2 99 17 27 47

Team: 65 people, spread out across four research units

The laboratory's missions

The Fougères Laboratory operates in the areas of food safety, veterinary medicine and food hygiene.

The laboratory’s mission is to further knowledge of the benefits and risks of veterinary medicinal product and disinfectant use by the food processing industry. It also analyses the effects of antibiotics and biocides on antimicrobial resistance and characterises the toxicological hazards associated with contaminants. Moreover, the laboratory develops new tools for predicting the toxicity of these products.

The laboratory’s work focuses on:

  • Screening for residues of veterinary medicinal products in foodstuffs of animal origin;
  • The antimicrobial effectiveness of antibiotics and disinfectants;
  • The resistance of bacteria to these products;
  • Evaluating the toxicity of contaminants.

The laboratory is the National Reference Laboratory for veterinary medicine residues and antimicrobial resistance. It is also the European Union Reference Laboratory for antimicrobial and dye residues.

The laboratory's units

  • Antibiotics, Biocides, Residues and Resistance Unit 

The missions of the Antibiotics, Biocides, Residues and Resistance Unit are as follows:

  • Evaluating and validating screening methods for veterinary medicinal product residues (antibiotics and dyes with pharmacological activity);
  • Developing methods for detecting disinfectant biocide residues;
  • Organising and participating in inter-laboratory trials;
  • Performing in vitro tests on susceptibility to antibiotics and biocides;
  • Determining the efficacy of biocides and antibiotics;
  • Characterising genes for resistance to antibiotics and biocides, and their genetic support;
  • Performing phenotypic tests for the detection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Experimentation, Modelling and Data Analysis Unit 

The Experimentation, Modelling and Data Analysis Unit has the following missions:

  • Organising experiments on livestock and small animals, involved in different projects assigned to and/or run by the Fougères Laboratory. The management of animal housing and the treatment of animals are described in a quality plan;
  • Assisting in setting up experimental plans and conducting statistical analyses at the request of the laboratory’s units, other ANSES teams, or teams outside ANSES;
  • Coordinating ANSES’s statistical analysis platform;
  • Implementing biokinetics projects (i.e. on the absorption, distribution and elimination of substances) and developing biokinetic modelling tools;
  • Following up on requests for inter-laboratory trials as part of its national and European reference activities relating to veterinary medicinal product residues;
  • Monitoring samples for testing and those produced in the framework of inter-laboratory proficiency tests (ILPTs) for veterinary medicinal product residues, in order to produce reference materials;
  • Coordinating proficiency tests defined in the programme on veterinary medicinal product residues.
  • Analysis of Residues and Contaminants Unit 

The Analysis of Residues and Contaminants Unit develops and validates methods for physico-chemical analyses mainly based on mass spectrometry coupled to liquid chromatography. These are used to detect and quantify veterinary medicinal product residues in foodstuffs of animal origin and residues of other organic contaminants in tissue and food.

  • Its role is also to transfer these methods to networks of official laboratories and perform tests in response to requests for official analyses and for comparisons between laboratories (ILPTs).
  • Toxicology of Contaminants Unit 

This unit’s missions are to:

  • Develop and adapt in vitro and in vivo cytotoxicity and genotoxicity tests for plastic, nanoparticles and toxins;
  • Determine the effects of contaminants using different markers of in vitro and in vivo toxicity;
  • Perform in vitro toxicokinetic (science of the absorption, distribution and elimination of substances) tests;
  • Participate in scientific expert appraisals in the field of toxicology.