Recent Activities

10th Scientific Meeting of the International Leptospirosis Society

NRL Staff members Roderick Chappel and Liza Cabuang attended the 10th Scientific Meeting of the International Leptospirosis Society (ILS), held in Palmerston North, New Zealand from 27 November to 1 December.  Leptospirosis, caused by spirochaete bacteria of the genus Leptospira, infects people, domestic animals and wildlife globally.  There are an estimated one million serious human cases of leptospirosis each year, with about 60,000 deaths.  The meeting was hosted, on behalf of ILS, by the leptospirosis research group at Massey University, Palmerston North.  The meeting attracted about 200 delegates from 34 countries.

NRL has had a long involvement with leptospirosis through Roderick Chappel, who serves on the ILS Executive and is a former President of ILS.  On behalf of ILS, Roderick coordinates the International Proficiency Testing Scheme for the Leptospirosis Microagglutination Test, which is delivered to about 100 laboratories in 45 countries, by NRL and two overseas collaborating laboratories.  Roderick is also a member of the Taxonomic Subcommittee for Leptospira, which maintains a regulatory overview of leptospiral taxonomy.  NRL EQAS Team Leader, Liza Cabuang, has established a Molecular EQAS for Leptospirosis as an NRL programme, offering quality assurance support to laboratories that test for leptospirosis by PCR. 

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NRL is designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Diagnostics and Laboratory Support for HIV and AIDS and Other Blood-borne Infections