Improvements made to two External Quality Assurance tests

Two new reports revealed that improvements have been made to two External Quality Assurance tests, compared to test functionality in 2011.

The first report covered the Haemophilus inflenzae, which was conducted in 2012 and found to have been improved since the initial EQA distribution in 2011. The second report covered Neisseria meningitidis and was found to have made overall improvements since the first EQA distribution, also conducted in 2011.

Twenty-eight Haemophilus Reference Laboratories were called upon to conduct the first test. Five strains of Haemophilus were observed using standard laboratory procedures.

Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was found difficult to evaluate due to differing analysis methodology. All European laboratories are, however, recommended to implement EUCAST antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods due to the results of the evaluation.

The second test, IBD-labnet EQA, was found to be more accurate in number and quality of responses of characterized targets and detection specifications. A few laboratories were unable to confirm non-culture samples and certain errors occurred with varied samples. The testing method was still seen as improved overall.

Further training and support is recommended to gain consistent testing results across a network of laboratories.