External quality assurance scheme for Neisseria meningitidis, 2012

External quality assessment Technical report

​ECDC promotes the performance of external quality assurance (EQA) schemes, in which laboratories are sent simulated clinical specimens or bacterial isolates for testing by routine and/or reference laboratory methods.
In May 2012, a collection of three viable isolates of N. meningitidis of the major disease-causing serogroups (A, B and C), together with four simulated blood (non-culture) samples for molecular studies, was sent to 29 reference laboratories.
The EQA performance showed that European meningococcus reference laboratories differ in their capacities and level of characterisation of the distributed N. meningitidis material, but that there have been improvements since the first ECDC IBD-labnet distribution.
The results of the IBD-labnet EQA exercise proved that a regular EQA scheme for reference laboratories is required in order to maintain the movement towards improved quality of molecular epidemiological reports.

Related content