Biological Resources Center  

  HEADChantal Bizet, Dr /
  MEMBERSBernard Papierok , PHD / Evelyne Bégaud, PHD / Jessy Vandekerkhove, technician / Anne-Sophie Richard, technician/ Laurence Motreff, technician

  Annual Report

The Institut Pasteur is undoubtedly the French institution which keeps in the same location the most numerous and diverse collections of infectious microorganisms. In particular, three officially recognized collections used for years to preserve and distribute strains: the bacterial Collection of the Institut Pasteur (CIP), the Pasteur Collection of Cyanobacteria (PCC), and the Fungal Culture Collection (UMIP). In such a context, the Biological Resources Centre of the Institut Pasteur (CRBIP) was established in December 2001, with the aim of gathering and preserving Pasteurian collections of biological materials and associated information, and distributing these materials in accordance to current national and international rules. The CRBIP, which includes the three official collections mentioned above, simultaneously set up an original programme of enrichment and a sound quality control strategy, and developed an appropriate collection management software, ARPAS.

The CRBIP enrichment programme consists in integrating sets of original strains (reference strains, epidemiological markers, strains exhibiting specific antibiotic resistances, “variant” strains, vaccinal strains, etc.) from research laboratories and CNR (National Reference Centres for the French Ministry of Health). All strains are incorporated into the CRBIP according to precise quality control requirements, which include, in particular, the implementation of a quality control action plan in every participating laboratory, and the development, for production, control and preservation of cultures, of documented specific protocols involving up-to-date technologies.

At the end of the year 2009, sets of original strains of the following bacterial or viral groups were newly available for distribution through the CRBIP: Leptospira, Mycobacterium, Bordetella, Listeria, Neisseria, Escherichia coli, biofilm bacteria, emerging pathogenic bacteria, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, retroviruses (SIVagm, SIVcpz, HIV-1), lyssaviruses (rabies), flaviviruses (dengue, West Nile), Chikungunya and enteric viruses. The CRBIP is currently keeping nearly 12000 bacterial strains, 750 cyanobacterial strains, 2500 fungal strains (filamentous fungi or yeasts) and 100 viruses. Incorporation of Klebsiella , respiratory viruses, etc. is ongoing. Furthermore, a project to extend the CRBIP to the International Network of Pasteur Institutes is being investigated, and an awareness and inventory campaign was already done.

In July 2005, was granted to the CRBIP the certification according to the standard ISO 9001: 2000. It became thus the first biological resource centre (BRC) preserving viruses of safety level 3 to be certified. To meet OECD recommendations related to the BRC, the CRBIP is currently validating all the methods used to control phenotypical and molecular characteristics of strains.

In September 2009, was granted to the CRBIP the certification according to the AFNOR standard NF S96-900.

Owing to these results, the CRBIP is often solicited to act as consultant by French or foreign collections which intend to improve their organization and their collection activities with the aim of becoming duly recognized BRC.

In collaboration with INRA, the CRBIP coordinates an European project in the field of Infrastructure: European Consortium of Microbial Resource Centres (EMbaRC). EMbaRC will establish a self-sustainable community of European Microbial Resource Centres representing a large bio-diversity and offering a wide-range of not only bio-resources but also expert services. These services will enable the development of new partnerships with public institutes in the field of biodiversity and will facilitate revenue-generating partnerships with the economic sector (large food or biotech companies, research organisations, SMEs, NGO’s etc).

The long-term objective is to enable not only the EMbaRC partners but other European BRCs, especially those who are endangered or isolated, to find complementary sources of funding to ensure their future existence. Providing access to users via the project will enable EMbaRC to improve, coordinate and validate its offer to the European and International researchers from both public and private sectors and thus ensure the future sustainability of the consortium as well as the wider European BRC community at large.

Joint research to improve strain and DNA storage and to develop new microorganisms identification methods will be carried out by the EMBaRC consortium. Publications will disseminate the results to the whole scientific community and new services will be opened up to users.

The CRBIP coodinates a project , at he national level, for a new software for the management of Biological Resources Centre of micro-organisms.

Keywords: bacteria, cyanobacteria, fungi, virus, BRC, collection, preservation


E. BÉGAUD, C. BIZET: Le Centre de Ressources Biologiques de l’Institut Pasteur : Gestion de collections de micro-organismes sous assurance qualité. Les Actes du BRG, 6 (2006) 15-23.

B. PAPIEROK, É. BÉGAUD, C. BIZET: The Biological Resource Centre of the Institut Pasteur: A dynamic tool for advanced research, Research in Microbiology, Oct.-Nov. 2007,N° 8-9-Vol.158, p. 718-719.

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Activity Reports 2009 - Institut Pasteur
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