The Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires is supporting two research projects at the Institut Pasteur on food safety and combating antibiotic resistance.
Food safety is a major concern in our society, requiring constant attention and research efforts to counter the associated microbiological risks. The Institut Pasteur is responsible for monitoring six foodborne diseases in humans: listeriosis, salmonellosis, enterohemorrhagic E. coli infection, shigellosis, botulism and vibrio infection.
The Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires, established in 1998 by the Les Mousquetaires Group, is a key stakeholder in the European retail sector. By championing projects that have a significant economic or social impact, the Foundation provides support to the Institut Pasteur, with a particular focus on two scientific research projects that are vitally important in terms of food safety and public health.
Two projects that are funded with support from the Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires:
- combating the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium;
- understanding the emergence of the first antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria.
1 - Combating the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium
The Biology of Infection Unit, in collaboration with the National Reference Center (CNR) and the WHO Collaborating Center (WHOCC) for Listeria led by Marc Lecuit, is studying Listeria monocytogenes, a deadly foodborne pathogen. The bacterium has a unique ability to survive in hostile conditions, including acidic environments and cold temperatures, enabling it to contaminate foods such as dairy and meat products. It can cause severe, even fatal infections in fetuses or newborn babies, elderly people and immunocompromised individuals.
In this context, the study of the bacterium and the infection it causes are of major scientific, medical, public health and economic importance. Every year in France, the national epidemiological surveillance system records over 400 cases of listeriosis, the disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes, with a mortality rate in excess of 30%. These figures underscore why it is so important to improve our understanding of the characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes strains that contaminate food and food production facilities and identify the bacterium’s virulence mechanisms.
The support of the Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires is vital to the success of our research projects. By improving our understanding of the pathogenicity of Listeria nocmoytogenes, we can help to improve the prevention, diagnosis and listeriosis treatment - the severe infection it causes -. The Foundation’s support is vital if our research is to progress and have an impact.
2 - Understanding the emergence of the first antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria
This ambitious project led by François-Xavier Weill, Head of the Institut Pasteur’s Enteric Bacterial Pathogens Unit, involves studying 1,000 historical strains of intestinal pathogenic bacteria belonging to the Salmonella and Vibrio genera in order to trace the evolution of antibiotic resistance and understand how these bacteria, which are responsible for foodborne infections, have emerged and spread over time.
Full sequencing of bacterial DNA will enable us to explore the genetic relationship between strains and the different genetic structures responsible for antibiotic resistance. By studying these 1,000 strains from human and animal infections and food products, researchers can trace the evolution of antibiotic resistance and determine whether the same bacterial lineages persist today.
Understanding the early stages of the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria will help to develop novel strategies for preventing and controlling these infections. Moreover, this study will enable us to assess the effectiveness of current measures to combat antibiotic resistance and inform public health policy.
The support of the Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires is essential to advance our knowledge of antibiotic resistance and to better understand how these pathogenic bacteria evolve. Together, we can make a real difference in the fight against this growing public health threat.
François-Xavier WeillHead of the Institut Pasteur's Enteric Bacterial Pathogens Unit
"The Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires is proud to support innovative research projects led by the Institut Pasteur to overcome major challenges relating to food safety and antibiotic resistance." – Maryvonne Le Roch-Nocera, President of Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires.
For over 15 years, the Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires has been working alongside teams at the Institut Pasteur on research projects relating to food safety. The Foundation has also been a key partner of Pasteurdon since the very beginning. It is responding to the great call to action in the fight against diseases that pose a threat to human health.
The Institut Pasteur gratefully acknowledges the loyal support of the Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires.
The impact of the research it supports is vital in terms of public health and food safety. The data collected will be used to improve prevention measures, monitoring strategies and healthcare policies, thus helping to save lives and safeguard the wellbeing of society as a whole.