Institut national de la Recherche agronomique (INRA)

Ranked the number one agricultural institute in Europe and number two in the world, INRA carries out mission-oriented research for high-quality and healthy foods, competitive and sustainable agriculture and a preserved and valorised environment. The INRA Animal health division contributes to Transvac2. Its main missions are to produce new knowledge and to contribute to coordination of research in the field of animal health and veterinary public health, a typical “one health” strategy.

Role in the TRANSVAC project

All together INRA facilities power up (1) Research in multi-disciplinary domains through academic and industrial collaborations for the development of large animal models, therapeutics or new imaging devices, and (2) Training under several topics (biocontained experiments, introduction of new imaging methods for large animal models etc.), welcoming external teams which do not possess such an instrumental park for Transnational access.

Main staff involved in TRANSVAC

Nicolas Bertho, VIM senior scientist; Isabelle Schwartz, VIM senior scientist; Sabine Rifault, Head of VIM; Édouard Guitton, PFIE study manager; Céline Barc, PFIE study manager; Mickaël Riou, PFIE study manager; Pierre Sarradin, Head of PFIE;

The Facility

Our research lab and an animal facility are contributing: the VIM (Virology and Molecular Immunology) laboratory is located at the INRA centre of Jouy-en-Josas (close to Paris) and provides strong expertise in virology, biochemistry, immunology, vaccinology, dendritic cell biology, and genomics. Our expertise and infrastructure is sufficient to handle viral production and immunological analysis in BSL2 and BSL3 facilities. INRA-VIM has led several research projects on the vaccination of livestock (cattle, sheep and pigs) for bRSV, Bluetongue virus, influenza and Rift Valley virus. the PFIE (Plateforme d’infectiologie experimentale) bio-contained animal facility, located in Nouzilly close to the city of Tours, is the largest and most versatile experimental facility in Infectiology in France. It is a livestock experimentation platform (50 permanent positions, 3500 m2 BSL3 and 2500 m2 BSL2 buildings and isolators for small species (mice and poultry)). PFIE works according to the certification ISO 9001 and is open to the whole research community, from either academic or private sectors, studying farm animal and zoonotic diseases, testing new diagnostic tools or vaccines against infectious diseases. INRA-PFIE participates in the H2020 INFRA VetBioNet.

TNA or Training provided

VIM carries out virology and immunology research using large animals such as pigs (influenza) and ruminants (RSV). We propose cytometer analysis using up to 20 different parameters, Fluorescent microscopy, in vitro restimulation cultures, qRT-PCR analysis, ELISA and ELISPOT. We produce live and inactivated viruses in our BSL2 and BSL3 facilities, and perform immunogenicity and efficacy studies in pigs (influenza) and sheep (RSV) with a focus on skin vaccination and extended monitoring of humoral and cellular immune responses in the blood and lung. PFIE. All kind of projects using mice or farm animals can be performed, with most of animal and zoonotic pathogens up to BSL3. PFIE can supply SPF mice, SPF poultry, germfree chicks (chicken and quails), health controlled pigs and small ruminants as well as cattle and ponies. Various equipment is available in BSL3 containment like continuous telemetric monitoring of temperature in most species, fibro-, broncho- or laparoscopy for large and mid sized animals, ultrasonography, in vivo or ex vivo imaging in fluorescence and/or bio-luminescence: IVIS Spectrum® (Perkin Elmer) for small animals or organs, Cell Vizio® Dual Band confocal laser endomicroscopy (Mauna Kea Tech.), Fluobeam® (Fluoptics), surgery rooms, automated haematology and biochemistry analysers.