Tuesday 20th November 2012, 11am, the Hôpital Principal in Dakar, the French Embassy in Senegal, BioMérieux Foundation, the Méditerranée Infection Foundation, the Institute for Research and Development inaugurated the Research Platform at the Hospital of Dakar; this includes a mass spectrometer MALDI-TOF (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption / Ionization Time of Flight). The ceremony was chaired by the Minister of the Armies in the presence of the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, the Minister of Higher Education and Research, His Excellency the Ambassador of France in Senegal and the Professor D. Raoult (Unit Director URMITE).
Thanks to excellent cooperation between the Hôpital Principal of Dakar, the Embassy of France in Senegal, BioMérieux Foundation, the Méditerranée Infection Foundation, the Institute for Research and Development, Senegal is the first country in Africa to get a MALDI-TOF.
Recently introduced in medical bacteriology laboratories, this technique has deeply changed the way of identifying isolated microorganisms in biological and environmental samples. It helps the identification of micro-organisms in 24 hours, at much lower cost (eight times cheaper), which saves a significant amount of time for the identification of bacteria from a sample. The spectrometer also provides emergency diagnosis. With the research platform, the Hôpital Principal in Dakar, led by Professor Boubacar Wade has two advantages: the doctors will provide with rapid and reliable diagnosis of bacterial diseases and will be able to prescribe appropriate treatment for better patient care; the researchers will accurately conduct their fight against diarrheal diseases, respiratory flu, malaria or meningitis. This is particularly the case for the Joint Research Unit 198 URMITE IRD, led by Professor Didier Raoult, whose secondary implantation is located in the International Campus UCAD-IRD of Hann-Marist in Dakar. With this technique, the Franco-Senegalese research teams will identify, classify bacteria isolated from biological samples of patients, characterise some of the resistance mechanisms of these strains and study different vectors of infectious diseases and associated microorganisms.