External quality assurance scheme for diphtheria diagnostics 2010
This report presents the results of the 2010 external quality assurance (EQA) exercise that assessed the capabilities of diagnosing diphtheria in 28 reference laboratories across Europe. Participating centres were asked to complete a questionnaire and identify six simulated throat specimens.
Results overall were encouraging, showing both increased capacity and accuracy in diphtheria diagnosis since the previous EQA. However, some specific issues were identified as needing improvement, such as use of the Elak test for determining toxigenicity; false negative toxigenic results, as observed in this EQA, would impact negatively on the speed of public health action and patient management. Participants that did not perform above the average will be encouraged to attend the training workshop being held in the autumn of 2011.
The EQA results in this report identified the countries that require additional support and training. These countries will be invited to the second workshop scheduled in autumn 2011. Also planned is a second EQA distribution for laboratory diagnostics to measure any improvements made since the previous EQA.
This EQA report was done as part of the European Diphtheria Surveillance Network (EDSN) continuing the work of DIPNET, a dedicated surveillance network on diphtheria. EDSN, established by ECDC in March 2010, comprises nominated epidemiologists and laboratory experts for diphtheria from the 27 EU Member States and the three other EEA countries. Its purpose is to establish a system of expertise for the prevention of diphtheria and to strengthen and harmonise the laboratory capacity at national level.
Diphtheria is difficult to diagnose clinically, particularly in those countries where the disease is rarely seen. This disease is often confused with other conditions, such as severe streptococcal sore throat, Vincent’s angina, or glandular fever. Accurate microbiological diagnosis is crucial and complementary to clinical diagnosis. It is fundamental that EU Member States have the capacity and ability to undertake the procedures relating to the microbiological diagnosis of not only diphtheria but also the related infections caused by all potentially toxigenic strains of corynebacteria.
Syphilis and congenital syphilis in Europe - A review of epidemiological trends (2007–2018) and options for response
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Collection and analysis of whole genome sequencing data from food-borne pathogens and other relevant microorganisms isolated from human, animal, food, feed and food/feed environmental samples in the joint ECDC–EFSA molecular typing database
29 May 2019 - This report identifies and compares potential platforms/solutions for the set-up and running of a joint ECDC–EFSA database to collect and analyse whole genome sequencing (WGS) data for Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Escherichia coli. In particular, WGS introduces the need for specific components for storage and analysis of these data.
Third external quality assessment on species identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Campylobacter, 2017
28 May 2019 - This report presents the results of the third round of the EQA on AST for national public health laboratories for Campylobacter (Campylobacter EQA3-AST) within the Food- and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses Network (FWD-Net).