Recent Activities - 2016

June 2016: Report on the Scientific Working Group on the Standardisation of Genome Amplification Techniques (SoGAT) 2016    

Joe Vincini and Wayne Dimech attended the SoGAT meeting held at the Royal College of Physicians in London between 6 and 8 June 2016.  SoGAT is focused on the standardisation of testing, especially nucleic acid testing for infectious diseases.  The meeting is conducted by the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control, UK.  Presentations ranged from calibration of assays using higher order materials, Standardisation of Point of Care testing, and EQAS/QC reports from several European quality assurance providers.  There was a strong focus on the creation and use of secondary standards.

For the first time at SoGAT there was a full day dedicated to standardisation of serological testing.  The programme introduced speakers from France (Liliane Keros and  Christelle Fellous-Vauloup, Hopital Paul-Brousse) and Germany (Daniela Huzly, University Medical Centre, Freiburg) who discussed the lack of standardisation of rubella serology assays. Angela Vogel from Abbott Diagnostics, Germany, gave the manufacturer’s perspective.  A robust discussion about rubella standardisation ensued and the group resolved to convene an expert committee under the auspices of the World Health Organisation to make recommendations.

The final session addressed hepatitis and CMV serology and included speakers from Germany (Wolfram Gerlich, University of Giessen and Heinz Zeichhardt, INSTAND) as well as the UK (Petra Jovanovic, UKNEQAS).

The SoGAT meeting continues to be one that has impact on medical testing globally. The presentations will be made available on the SoGAT 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