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06/12/2021

Staphylococcus, Bacillus and Clostridium (SBCL) unit of the Laboratory for Food Safety

Maisons-Alfort site

Head of Unit: Jacques-Antoine Hennekinne

Deputy Heads of Unit: Olivier Firmesse and Yacine Nia

The Staphylococcus, Bacillus and Clostridium (SBCL) unit focuses on these three toxin-producing bacteria, for which it carries out reference, research and surveillance activities.

For these three microbiological hazards, the SBCL unit undertakes work in a wide range of areas, from bacteria to toxins, in particular through the detection and quantification of hazards and the molecular and protein characterisation of their pathogenicity (namely their toxigenicity). Its expertise enables it to support risk assessments, contribute to the development of the surveillance system for toxin-producing bacteria in foodstuffs, and help the directorates general of the Agency’s supervisory ministries with their decision-making.

Reference activities

As part of its national and European reference mandates on coagulase-positive staphylococci, the unit develops and validates analytical methods, participates in standardisation work, supervises the networks of laboratories under its responsibility, and organises proficiency tests. Lastly, it helps carry out confirmatory analyses, in particular to characterise food poisoning outbreaks (descriptive epidemiology).

Research activities

With regard to research, the SBCL unit works to produce knowledge and develop new analytical approaches in its sphere of expertise, especially by responding to calls for projects.

The SBCL unit is also involved in cross-cutting work with the laboratory and ANSES's other units (toxicology, IdentyPath and Maldi-Tof platforms, Risk Assessment Department and Regulated Products Assessment Department).