Performance on a multipathogen External Quality Assessment (EQA) panel by different mono- and multiplex nucleic acid amplification tests
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Journal of clinical microbiology. - Washington, D.C.
, p. 977-987
University of Antwerp
An external quality assessment (EQA) panel consisting of a total of 48 samples in broncho alveolar lavage (BAL) or transport medium was prepared in collaboration with Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics (QCMD) (www.qcmd.org). The panel was used to assess the proficiency of the 3 laboratories that would be responsible to examine the 6000 samples to be collected in the GRACE Network of Excellence (www.grace-lrti.org). The main objective was to decide on the best performing testing approach for detecting influenza A/B, parainfluenza 1-3, RSV, human metapneumovirus, coronavirus, rhinovirus adenovirus, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Legionella pneumophila by nucleic acid amplification techniques (NAATs). Two approaches were chosen (1) laboratories testing samples using their in-house procedure for extraction and amplification, and (2) laboratories using their in-house amplification procedure on centrally extracted samples. Furthermore, 3 commercially available multiplex NAATs tests (Resplex, Qiagen GmbH, Hilden Germany; Respifinder plus, PathoFinder, Maastricht, The Netherlands; RespiFinder Smart 21, PathoFinder) were evaluated by examination of the same EQA panel by the manufacturer. No large differences were noticed when comparing the performance of the in-house developed assays in combination with the in-house extraction procedure. Also, the extraction procedure (central vs local) had little effect on performance. However, large differences in amplification efficacy were found between the commercially available tests; acceptable results were obtained by using the PathoFinder assays.