External quality assurance scheme for Streptococcus pneumoniae – 2012
The 2012 external quality assurance scheme for Streptococcus pneumoniae shows that European pneumococcal reference laboratories vary in the level to which they characterise strains referred to them, ranging from full speciation and serogrouping to full serotyping and sequence typing.
Overall, the results show a significant improvement from the previous EQA, which was conducted in 2010. Errors in speciation and serotyping were down to 1.7%, compared with 13.2% in the previous distribution.
The EQA distribution has again indicated that some laboratories lack the necessary reagents to fully serotype isolates, and this renders surveillance of invasive pneumococcal disease difficult. Comprehensive data on serotype distribution are essential in order to establish the impact of the use of pneumococcal vaccines.
The antimicrobial susceptibility testing results indicate that the majority of the laboratories have little difficulty in performing susceptibility testing. The major discrepancy was in the interpretation of the results because of the use of different interpretative guidelines. Some laboratories are using EUCAST guidelines while others are still using CLSI guidelines. All EU reference laboratories should be moving towards using EUCAST guidelines.
Syphilis and congenital syphilis in Europe - A review of epidemiological trends (2007–2018) and options for response
12 Jul 2019 - Since 2010, syphilis notification rates in the EU/EAA have been on the increase, but in recent years this trend seems to accelerate predominantly among men having sex with men (MSM). Similar trends have been observed in high income c ountries outside the EU/EAA . While the overall trend remained relatively stable, outbreaks or clusters of syphilis cases have also been reported among heterosexual populations in the EU/EEA. In several high income countries (e.g. US A , increases in congenital syphilis occurred in connection with increases in syphilis notifications among women.
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).