Recent Activities - 2019

NRL Testing: NRL’s In-House HTLV Proviral Load Assay for Research Use Only

31 Oct 2019

NRL developed an in-house HTLV proviral load assay to provide testing as part of an NH&MRC project investigating the prevalence and clinical sequelae of HTLV in indigenous communities in central Australia. The assay detects HTLV-including subtype 1c which is Australo-Melanesian strain found in PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Australia. 

NRL Events: 36th Annual NRL Symposium New Scientist Award Winner

17 Oct 2019

As a commitment to fostering the engagement of individuals embarking on their career in the medical laboratory science industry, NRL introduced a New Scientist Award at this year’s Symposium. NRL would like to congratulate the recipient of this award; Ms Amanda Bordin, a PhD student from The University of Queensland’s Centre (UQ) for Clinical Research who, as part of improving the management of bacterial lung infections in people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), presented her research on Mycobacterium abscessus complex (MABSC) detection and resistance characterisation.

NRL Events: 36th Annual NRL Symposium on Infectious Diseases Testing Summary

17 Oct 2019

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.

NRL Publications: 2018 NRL Annual Report

The 2018 NRL Annual Report is now available.This Annual Report showcases the impact NRL Services has had on the medical scientific community and the health of the broader community throughout the last calendar year. To obtain a hard copy of the 2018 Annual Report, please contact:

31 Aug 2019

NRL Training: Test Kit Evaluations Training Workshop Delivered in Myanmar

08 Aug 2019

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working with the Governments of Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar and Viet Nam to enhance responses to emerging infectious diseases and the management of other major public health threats. The Greater Mekong Subregion Health Security Project aims to improve these countries’ health systems whilst promoting cross-country cooperation to improve national and international health security.

As part of the endeavour to attain the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals-diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy for 90% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020, Myanmar has begun the process of decentralising testing for HIV.

NRL Training: Addressing the HIV Epidemic in Myanmar

01 Aug 2019

Roche Diagnostics Workshop for the NRL Quality Assurance Participants

19 Jul 2019

Roche Diagnostics Vietnam hosts an annual Infectious Diseases Workshop for all Vietnamese laboratories nationwide who participate in NRL’s External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS), as a continuous education program under long term collaboration between Roche Diagnostics Vietnam and NRL. The objective of the 2019 Workshop was for participants to report the results of their 2018 EQAS participation and improve their understanding of EQAS and Quality Control (QC) programs as a means to provide accurate patient testing, and the ability to undertake possible corrective actions if required.

NRL Partners with Technopath Clinical Diagnostics

23 Jul 2019

NRL is delighted to announce its new partnership with Technopath Clinical Diagnostics for the provision of Quality Control (QC) for infectious diseases together with the QConnect™ program. Technopath Clinical Diagnostics, based in Ireland, is a global leader in the development and manufacture of total QC solutions for clinical laboratories.  In 2008, Technopath launched the in-vitro diagnostic industry’s first truly consolidated immunochemistry QC materials and since then has expanded its range of QC products, now being used by leading laboratories in over 120 countries.

NRL Invited to Address Medical Scientific Organisations in Europe on Quality Testing

14 Jul 2019

On the 14 - 16 April 2019, NRL General Manager Wayne Dimech presented at a meeting in Dubai on the “Role of serology methods in Toxoplasma & Rubella diagnosis” on behalf of Roche Diagnostics Middle East.  This meeting was well attended by more than 500 participants from mostly Middle Eastern countries.  The programme had sessions on clinical chemistry, endocrinology and infectious diseases with a focus on reviewing the future of laboratory medicine in the region.

NRL TRAINING: Validation of Two New HIV Testing Algorithms in PNG

25 Mar 2019

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) most recent epidemiological data, estimates the prevalence of HIV in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to be approximately 0.8% (0.7% – 0.9%) and as a result PNG would be considered a low prevalence setting.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend that in a low HIV prevalence setting (<5%), a three test, HIV confirmatory testing algorithm should be implemented.  This recommendation is based on the low positive predictive value observed for test kits used in low prevalence settings and is intended to reduce the likelihood of false positive results. 

NRL TRAINING: IVD Evaluations and Proficiency Testing Provider Training for NIHBT

25 Mar 2019

The accuracy and reliability of in-vitro diagnostic medical devices (IVDs) play a significant role in patient care in terms of diagnosis and treatment for infectious diseases. IVD evaluations involve a specific regulatory assessment of the quality, safety and performance of an IVD for use in clinical settings. External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) or proficiency testing (PT) is an important tool for the laboratory or health care provider to use to verify the accuracy and reliability of its testing.

NRL Events: NRL Asian Workshop on Quality 2019 Summary

04 Mar 2019

NRL hosted the NRL Asian Workshop on Quality 2019 at the Intercontinental Hanoi Landmark72 Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam on 4-5 March 2019. One hundred and forty participants from 16 countries attended the meeting which focussed on improving the quality of testing in laboratories and community settings. The invited speakers presented a broad range of perspectives including laboratories, WHO programmes, regulation, blood services, diagnostic and reference laboratories, non-government agencies and industry.

Informal Meeting of Laboratories Performing Reference Testing for Hepatitis in Asia

04 Mar 2019

In association with the NRL Asian Workshop on Quality, NRL in collaboration with WHO WPRO and VIDRL conducted a satellite meeting of laboratories that perform reference testing for hepatitis.  This meeting was held to support WHO WPRO’s endeavours to strengthen the capacity of reference laboratories in the region, to identify gaps and plan for future technical support. 

NRL Becomes Member of Global Health Alliance

In January, NRL was very pleased to become the newest member of Global Health Alliance (GLHAM). GLHAM, based in Melbourne and launched in 2017, aims to connect entities across nine identified organisational types across Australia to form local alliances and catalyse non-traditional partnerships to increase the effectiveness and quality of global health outcomes compared to what individual organisations and institutions might achieve on their own.

06 Jan 2019

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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