Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Antananarivo (Madagascar)

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Antananarivo (Madagascar) is used to diagnose leprosy and assess the viral load of HIV, which is highly prevalent in the country.




Official opening

April 14, 2011


242 m2

Research focus

Multi-resistant bacteria - Chromomycosis & sporotrichosis - Leprosy - Bacterial meningitis - Papillomavirus - Pneumonia

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Antananarivo (Madagascar), part of the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease and a member of the GABRIEL laboratory network, is a BSL2+ molecular biology laboratory.

Prof. Luc Hervé Samison, Director Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease of Madagascar and Dean of the School of Medicine of Antananarivo, Madagascar

Located on the campus of Antananarivo University, it is affiliated with the School of Medicine under the direction of Professor Luc Hervé Samison. The laboratory conducts infectious disease research (respiratory diseases, parasitic diseases, fevers, etc.) and trains medical and science students.

Leprosy and HIV diagnostics

In 2016, the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease was recognized as a national reference laboratory for leprosy. As a result, it was able to further strenghten its diagnostic capabilities. Although a national program has been introduced to combat leprosy, this disease remains a major public health challenge in Madagascar.

Laboratory personnel also received training in how to set up the HIV viral load technique. HIV prevalence among the population ranges from 0.5 to 1%. Roughly 60,000 individuals are living with HIV in Madagascar, half of whom urgently need antiretroviral therapy.

Facilities in line with quality requirements and researcher training standards

The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory includes two BSL2+ containment rooms used for nucleic acid extraction and a room dedicated to polymerase chain reaction DNA amplification. The laboratory was designed to meet the specifications of the ISO 14644 standard, parts 1 and 4 (“Cleanrooms and Associated Controlled Environments”).

Quality control procedures ensure that tests performed in the laboratory are compliant.

The laboratory is part of the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease, which accepts graduate students from the Faculty of Science and Medicine. It moreover offers continuing education courses for biologists and laboratory technicians working in Antananarivo and the region. The laboratory’s scientists also receive quality assurance training.


  • Ministry of Health of Madagascar
  • University of Antananarivo
  • General Directorate of Hospitals