ECDC’s external quality assurance (EQA) schemes are designed to identify areas for improvement in laboratory diagnostic and typing methods that are relevant for disease surveillance and to ensure the comparability of results between laboratories. In this scheme, the objective was to evaluate whether serotyping of Salmonella strains by different laboratories within and outside the European Union (28 laboratories are situated in the EU/EEA region) is carried out correctly and lead to similar results.
The results of the EQA scheme indicate that the testing laboratories, on average, accurately serotype Salmonella strains. There are a few remaining problematic areas, mainly in the typing of H antigens and comparability of antimicrobial susceptibility results – highlighting the continuous need for EQA schemes for Salmonella serotyping and the need to develop and implement standard antimicrobial susceptibility testing procedures and interpretation criteria across Europe.
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Find ECDC’s and EFSA’s European Union Summary Report on Trends and Sources of Zoonoses, Zoonotic Agents and Food-borne Outbreaks in 2009 here