NRL News

Edition 5, 2019

NRL News

NRL EVENTS: 36th Annual NRL Symposium on Infectious Diseases Testing


The 36th Annual NRL Symposium on Infectious Diseases Testing was held at the QT hotel on the Gold Coast in Australia from 14-16 October 2019 covering a wide range of topics with excellent speakers presenting on their areas of expertise.

This year the traditional NRL Workshops on molecular pathology and broader infectious diseases were run as a combined event over three days, incorporating both molecular and serology technical and clinical content which was very successful, and well attended by 170 delegates from within Australia and overseas.

The NRL Symposium comprised a scientific programme that broadly focused on a number of topical infectious disease themes. On day one, invited international speaker Dr Micha Nubling from the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany presented on standardisation of HIV viral load testing in the “Standardisation and Accuracy of Testing” session alongside a second session devoted to HPV which included the recent update of the NPAAC guidelines. The afternoon included presentations on new technologies for laboratory workflow and rapid test kits for remote settings; and current emerging infections which focused particularly on mosquito-borne viral diseases in respect to their impact, detection and surveillance. Day two featured a session on “Regulation and Validation of IVDs” which addressed the European approach to IVD regulation, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s experience in validating and managing in-house IVDs and TGA providing information on requirements for performance validation of rapid test kits. Additional session themes included the “Challenges of HTLV in Australia”, “Health Emergency Preparedness-the Public Health Perspective” and a final session on the implications of blood-borne infections from the Australian and Malaysian viewpoint. On the final day of the meeting there were a series of presentations highlighting “Advancements in Testing” which were supported by the Symposium sponsors and a session on “Quality Assurance” focusing on the benefits of QC. The final session centred on “STIs and Hepatitis” addressing the concerns of how some Neisseria Gonorrhoeae strains have become antibiotic resistant; and utilising new technologies to diagnose hepatitis B which affects an estimated 290 million people world-wide.

Overall delegate feedback for the Symposium was extremely positive with particular praise for the calibre of speakers and the relevancy of the scientific programme. NRL would like to thank all of the sponsors, speakers and delegates who attended the Symposium and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Melbourne in October next year!

Presentations from the 36th Annual NRL Symposium on Infectious Diseases Testing (where permission has been granted) are available on the NRL website.

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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