External quality assessments (EQA)

ECDC encourages adoption of EU and ISO quality standards for diagnostic and reference laboratory services by its partners in EU laboratory networks and in line with national arrangements and regulations.
 
ECDC is supporting a large number of targeted External Quality Assessment (EQA) schemes with voluntary participation by reference or primary laboratories, which are active members of EU surveillance networks. The rationale for these EQAs is to underpin the capability and reliability of infectious disease case detection and confirmation or agent characterisation as used for data reporting to EU surveillance and alert systems.

External quality assessments per disease group

Disease group and pathogen(s)* Testing area** Number of EQA scheme/year Total
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Antimicrobial resistance
  Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae V       1           1       2
  Clostridium difficile T       1 1     1   1       4
  E. faecalis, E. faecium, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa, S. pneumoniae, S. aureus, Acinetobacter spp. D, A 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1   1   11
  Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus  T 1                         1
Emerging and vector-borne diseases
  Chikungunya virus D         2 1               3
  Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever Virus D   1                       1
  Dengue virus D       1                   1
  Hantavirus/Orthohantaviruses D 1                       1 2
  Lassa virus D       1                   1
  Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus  D         1                 1
  Orthopoxviruses D                   1       1
  Rift valley fever virus D     1                     1
  Tick-borne encephalitis virus D   1                       1
  West Nile fever virus D   2 1                     3
  Yellow fever virus D 2               1         3
  Zika virus D             1             1
  Neurotropic viruses (Toscana virus, WNV, Usutu virus and TBE) D               1           1
Coronavirus and Influenza
  Human influenza virus D, A 2     2   2     1       1 8
  SARS-CoV-2 D, T, V, A                         1 1
Food- and waterborne diseases
  Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli T, A         1   1 1 1         4
  Legionella pneumophila D, T, E 4 4 4 4   4       1 1 2 1 25
  Listeria monocytogenes T       1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1   1 9
  Salmonella enterica T, A 2   1 (T) 1 (T) 2 2 1 (A) 2 2 1 (T) 1 (T)   1 (T) 16
  variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob  D, I 1   1 1     1             4
  verocytotoxin-producing E. coli T, V 2   1   2 1 1 1   1 1   1 11
Sexually transmitted infections
  Neisseria gonorrhoeae A 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1   12
Vaccine-preventable diseases
  Bordetella pertussis D, T 1   2 1     1   1   1 1 1 9
  Corynebacterium diphtheriae D, T 1   2 1                   4
  Haemophilus influenzae D, T, V   1 1   1   1   1         5
  Neisseria meningitidis D, T, A   1 1   1   1   1         5
  Streptococcus pneumoniae D, T, A 1   1   1   1   1         5
Tuberculosis
  Mycobacterium tuberculosis D, T, A 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 25
Total 22 14 19 19 17 15 14 11 14 11 8 7 10 181

*E. faecalis: Enterococcus faecalis; E. faecium: Enterococcus faecium; E. coli: Escherichia coli, K. pneumoniae: Klebsiella pneumoniae; P. aeruginosa: Pseudomonas aeruginosa; S. pneumoniae: Streptococcus pneumoniae; S. aureus: Staphylococcus aureus;

** D: detection (culture, molecular or serological) and/or identification; T: typing; V: Virulence/resistance determinants screening; A: Antimicrobial susceptibility testing; I: Interpretation and analysis. E: Enumeration 

Page last updated 8 Jun 2022