The objective of the CA is to establish a Pan European Quality Control programme to allow the assessment and evaluation of existing and evolving nucleic acid amplification procedures used in diagnostic virology.
The purpose of the Concerted Action will be to establish a Quality Control (QC) programme for nucleic acid amplification procedures used in diagnostic virology to parallel established schemes for QC of virus serology, virus isolation, and virus antigen detection. Pan-European Quality Control programmes relating to a range of viruses of clinical importance will be sequentially introduced via the preparation and distribution of proficiency panels to evaluate test specificity and sensitivity. These will test laboratory performance, validate nucleic amplification methods, study genotype detection efficiency and via a Dual Track programme the preparation criteria of these panels will be utilised to develop certified 'standard' reagents for use as internal 'within-run' controls. During the period of the CA, six QC panels (each consisting of two panels to evaluate test specificity and sensitivity) will be prepared and distributed. Each QC programme will be linked to a workshop which will be structured to allow for the presentation of programme data, assessment of performance by individual laboratories, and information exchange concerning technical aspects of the test procedure evaluated.
Quality control, Diagnostic virology, Molecular diagnosis, PCR, Nucleic acid amplification.