Proficiency test for rabies serology: A design complying with international standards for a reliable assessment of participating laboratories

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Domestic carnivores can introduce rabies into disease-free countries or areas if they are incubating the disease and transported during the pre-symptomatic period. For pets moved into the European Union, the European Commission decided to establish a system of community approval of laboratories willing to carry out the rabies serological controls to guarantee an effective control system. As the specific institute to coordinate the approval of the laboratories, designated by the European Commission in 2000, our laboratory organizes annual proficiency tests (PT) for laboratories already agreed or willing to be agreed to perform rabies serological controls (by detecting rabies virus neutralizing antibodies only) in the frame of international trade. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The assessment criteria of this PT rely on the analysis of the specificity and the intra-laboratory consistency. The approach used to evaluate the degree of laboratory consistency is based on the use of compiled data obtained from previous PT campaigns, and is measured by the quality of a regression model. By using historical data for calculating assigned values and associated standard deviations, instead of values obtained from only one campaign, they became robust without any additional statistical treatment. In the present paper, more than 800 historical values were compiled for each of the regression parameters. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Since the beginning of these PT schemes in 1999, the overall percentage of failing laboratories remained stable over the years (4.1%) while the number of participants increased to 79 in 2018. This highlighted the robustness and the consistency of the statistical analyses used to assess the laboratory's performance over the years. The improvements carried out and the consistency of our statistical analyses have resulted in the compliance of the rabies serology PT with the ISO/IEC 17043 and ISO 13528:2015 International Standards.
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Marine Wasniewski, Michel Laurentie, Franca Rizzo, Alexandre Servat, Michel Aubert, et al.. Proficiency test for rabies serology: A design complying with international standards for a reliable assessment of participating laboratories. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2019, 13 (12), pp.e0007824. ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0007824⟩. ⟨anses-02437317⟩

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