After very conclusive tests carried out at Marseille-Provence airport (France) on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants for several months, the effectiveness of the solution has also been confirmed on a large scale since the beginning of April in the Persian Gulf region, with more than 150 aircraft tested to date on arrival by SICPA, under the control of the competent health authorities. It allows the detection of pathogens among a group of passengers entering a given territory in near real time, without the need to know their identity.

An effective and non-invasive surveillance system to anticipate and manage health risks

Governments and health authorities now have a particularly effective tool to prevent and anticipate these health risks. This system brings welcome reliability to the monitoring of the virus, in a context where the WHO has noted a recent drop in COVID-19 tests, sometimes in favor of home tests, the results of which are not communicated to health authorities.1.

Aircraft wastewater testing has the advantage of being collective, non-invasive and confidential. It can also detect various pathogens at an early stage in people who would not have tested positive in the individual test required for boarding.

“The vocation of SICPA is to enable trust. We offer governments secure traceability and health risk management solutions to optimize their response systems,” says Arnaud Bernaert, Director of the Health Security Solutions division of SICPA. “The state-of-the-art solution developed in partnership with the BMPM is one of the data acquisition modules that allow governments to build their own epidemiological observatory to monitor emerging threats and the development of epidemics and pandemics, and to anticipate and manage health risks without unnecessarily disrupting the daily lives of citizens, an issue particularly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.Rapidly deployable on a large scale, it is now available to any interested State.

“The battalion of firefighters of Marseilles has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 since 2020 with wastewater analysis,” adds its commander, Vice Admiral Patrick Auger. “It is an effective innovative method that has demonstrated its relevance on many occasions and in different contexts. It is an indispensable tool in the fight against the pandemic in Marseilles and in several French cities. Today, we are proud that it can be used to protect other countries and other populations.”

Based on its experience of more than 40,000 samples taken from wastewater in urban communities in France Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BMPM has developed a collection protocol for all types of aircraft, commercial or private, as soon as they arrive at airports. Analyzes carried out on site by specially trained teams make it possible to very quickly detect the presence of a pathogen on board, among the passengers and crew of a flight. In less than 2 hours, SARS-CoV-2 mutations are identified and quantified, allowing the nature of the threat to be characterized. The solution can therefore directly identify variants such as Delta and Omicron, as well as other respiratory pathogens (including influenza). In addition, it is constantly adapted to the evolution of the threat, thanks to collaboration with the Scientific Interest Group EDEM Solutions, which has an industrial capacity to adapt detection probes to new variants in a few weeks, from that their genomic sequence is known. .

Monitoring the circulation of pathogens to better protect populations

The results of the analyzes are immediately returned to the authorities in the form of analytical dashboards developed by SICPA and correlated with statistical and territorial data, allowing them to precisely follow the evolution of an epidemic and the circulation of new pathogens, and thus to decide very quickly on the measures to be put in place to protect their population and their economy.

This robust solution, developed jointly by SICPA and the BMPM, and marketed by SICPA, now makes it possible to respond in a concrete way to the recommendation issued by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control last November, encouraging countries to set up health monitoring and decision support systems. Its continued existence will allow for the early detection of an ever wider range of pathogens in the future.

Media contact
Remi Oudinot
[email protected]
+41 21 627 58 44

Commercial contact details
Franck Chartier Dumas
[email protected]
+33 6 42 26 87 69

BMPM media contact:
[email protected]
+33 6 32 87 13 54


A market leader in security inks and a leading provider of secure authentication, identification, traceability and supply chain solutions, SICPA has been a long-standing partner of governments, central banks, high security printers and industry. Every day, governments, businesses and millions of citizens rely on its expertise, which combines hardware secrecy features and digital technologies, to protect the integrity and value of their currency, personal identity, value, their e-government services, as well as products and brands. True to its goal of enabling trust through constant innovation, SICPA aims to promote an economy of trust worldwide, where transactions, interactions and products across the physical and digital worlds are based on protected data, tamper-proof and verifiable.

Founded in Lausanne in 1927, with headquarters in Swiss and operating on five continents, SICPA employs approximately 3,000 people.

About the BPM

The BMPM is the largest unit of the French Navy, with more than 2,500 military and civilian personnel, men and women, fighting every day against almost all the risks identified by Civil Security in France. Marseillesthe second largest city in France. The BMPM also ensures the security of Marseille-Provence airport, Airbus Helicopters, as well as ships at the quay and in the harbor in the East and West basins of the large maritime port of Marseilles (GPMM), the first port of France.

COMETE (Covid-19 Marseille Environmental Testing and Expertise) is a group of experts from the Marseilles marine firefighters, working in the NRBCE field, which took shape at the start of the health crisis in 2020. They responded to a need for innovation at the heart of this pandemic by developing a technique for collecting and analyzing water waste, which is today an essential tool in the fight against the epidemic in Marseilles. This network of experts has trained many people in the use of this technique throughout France, and intervened on many sites (airports, ports, rest homes, schools, hospitals, private places). In two years, more than 98,656 screening tests have been carried out, including more than 60,500 at Marseille-Provence airport. In total, more than 44,193 samples (wastewater and surface water) have been taken since the start of the pandemic.

1 COVID-19[FEMALE[FEMININEUkraine and Other Global Health Issues Virtual Press Conference Transcript – April 26, 2022 (

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