Quality in the molecular microbiology laboratory.
ABSTRACT In the clinical microbiology laboratory advances in nucleic acid detection, quantification, and sequence analysis have led to considerable improvements in the diagnosis, management, and monitoring of infectious diseases. Molecular diagnostic methods are routinely used to make clinical decisions based on when and how to treat a patient as well as monitor the effectiveness of a therapeutic regime and identify any potential drug resistant strains that may impact on the long term patient treatment program. Therefore, confidence in the reliability of the result provided by the laboratory service to the clinician is essential for patient treatment. Hence, suitable quality assurance and quality control measures are important to ensure that the laboratory methods and service meet the necessary regulatory requirements both at the national and international level. In essence, the modern clinical microbiology laboratory ensures the appropriateness of its services through a quality management system that monitors all aspects of the laboratory service pre- and post-analytical-from patient sample receipt to reporting of results, from checking and upholding staff competency within the laboratory to identifying areas for quality improvements within the service offered. For most European based clinical microbiology laboratories this means following the common International Standard Organization (ISO9001) framework and ISO15189 which sets out the quality management requirements for the medical laboratory (BS EN ISO 15189 (2003) Medical laboratories-particular requirements for quality and competence. British Standards Institute, Bristol, UK). In the United States clinical laboratories performing human diagnostic tests are regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) following the requirements within the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments document 1988 (CLIA-88). This chapter focuses on the key quality assurance and quality control requirements within the modern microbiology laboratory providing molecular diagnostics.
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ABSTRACT: Nucleic acid testing (NAT) for malaria parasites is an increasingly recommended diagnostic endpoint in clinical trials of vaccine and drug candidates and is also important in surveillance of malaria control and elimination efforts. A variety of reported NAT assays have been described, yet no formal external quality assurance (EQA) program provides validation for the assays in use. Here, we report results of an EQA exercise for malaria NAT assays. Among five centers conducting controlled human malaria infection trials, all centers achieved 100% specificity and demonstrated limits of detection consistent with each laboratory's pre-stated expectations. Quantitative bias of reported results compared to expected results was generally <0.5 log10 parasites/mL except for one laboratory where the EQA effort identified likely reasons for a general quantitative shift. The within-laboratory variation for all assays was low at <10% coefficient of variation across a range of parasite densities. Based on this study, we propose to create a Molecular Malaria Quality Assessment program that fulfills the need for EQA of malaria NAT assays worldwide.PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97398. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097398 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Incidence estimates of hospitalizations for community-acquired pneumonia among children in the United States that are based on prospective data collection are limited. Updated estimates of pneumonia that has been confirmed radiographically and with the use of current laboratory diagnostic tests are needed. We conducted active population-based surveillance for community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization among children younger than 18 years of age in three hospitals in Memphis, Nashville, and Salt Lake City. We excluded children with recent hospitalization or severe immunosuppression. Blood and respiratory specimens were systematically collected for pathogen detection with the use of multiple methods. Chest radiographs were reviewed independently by study radiologists. From January 2010 through June 2012, we enrolled 2638 of 3803 eligible children (69%), 2358 of whom (89%) had radiographic evidence of pneumonia. The median age of the children was 2 years (interquartile range, 1 to 6); 497 of 2358 children (21%) required intensive care, and 3 (<1%) died. Among 2222 children with radiographic evidence of pneumonia and with specimens available for bacterial and viral testing, a viral or bacterial pathogen was detected in 1802 (81%), one or more viruses in 1472 (66%), bacteria in 175 (8%), and both bacterial and viral pathogens in 155 (7%). The annual incidence of pneumonia was 15.7 cases per 10,000 children (95% confidence interval [CI], 14.9 to 16.5), with the highest rate among children younger than 2 years of age (62.2 cases per 10,000 children; 95% CI, 57.6 to 67.1). Respiratory syncytial virus was more common among children younger than 5 years of age than among older children (37% vs. 8%), as were adenovirus (15% vs. 3%) and human metapneumovirus (15% vs. 8%). Mycoplasma pneumoniae was more common among children 5 years of age or older than among younger children (19% vs. 3%). The burden of hospitalization for children with community-acquired pneumonia was highest among the very young, with respiratory viruses the most commonly detected causes of pneumonia. (Funded by the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.).New England Journal of Medicine 02/2015; 372(9):835-45. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1405870 · 54.42 Impact Factor
10/2014; 2. DOI:10.1016/j.bdq.2014.09.001