Proficiency Testing

The EURLP organizes proficiency testing (PT) for laboratories performing official controls for foodborne parasites on food and feed, according to the ISO/IEC 17043:2010. This ISO standard defines the proficiency testing as evaluation of participant performance against pre-established criteria by means of interlaboratory comparisons.

On May 2014, the EURLP was accredited by ACCREDIA, the italian accreditation body, as PT Provider (PTP), in conformity with the ISO/IEC 17043:2010 international standard. Any changes in the PT schedule and/or in their planning/management, will be published in the EURLP web site.

The following PTs are currently available:

PT-01: Detection of Trichinella larvae in meat intended for human consumption according to Regulation (EU) 2015/1375

Aim of the PT: detection of Trichinella larvae in meat.

Who can participate to the PT: all the laboratory (public or private) in charge to perform official controls according to Regulation EU 2015/1375. To participate to the PT scheme,  laboratories have to send a request by e-mail to the person in charge of PTP (Dr. Gianluca Marucci, gianluca.marucci@iss.it), who will send to the admitted laboratories an user id and a password to login to the restricted area of the dedicated web site.

Procedure to analyse the panel of samples: a panel of 3 PT items is delivered to the participants. Each item consist of a meat ball made by 35 or 100 g of minced meat (pork or horse), spiked or not with free, partially-encapsulatedn or encapsulated Trichinella spiralis larvae. Participants are requested to analyze by one of the approved digestion methods according to the Regulation (EU) 2015/1375 .

Criteria for the result evaluation: results evaluation is only qualitative, the results are considered “correct” if the laboratory identify properly samples spiked or not with Trichinella larvae, or “incorrect” in case of false positive or false negative. The participating laboratory has also to indicate the number of larvae detected in each item. The final evaluation is “positive” if the results of all samples were correct or “negative” if at least one result was incorrect.

Instruction (EN)    Istruzioni (IT)

Procedure (EN)     Procedura (IT)    

 Price List (EN)        Tariffario (IT)

PT-03: Identification of Trichinella larvae at the species level by a molecular method

Aim of the PT: correctly identify Trichinella muscle larvae at species level by a molecular method.

Procedure to analyze the panel of samples: a panel of PT items is delivered to each participant. The panel consists of 4 tubes, each tube containing a pool of 10 larvae of the same speciesParticipants are requested to analyze the items by any molecular method available in the lab, or by the EURLP method MI-02.

Criteria for the result evaluation: results evaluation is only qualitative, the participants have to correctly identify the larvae in the items at species level. Final evaluation is considered “positive” if all species are successfully identified.

Instruction     Procedure

 

PT-04: Detection of Anisakidae L3 larvae in fish fillets

Aim of the PTs: detection of Anisakidae larvae in fish fillet.

Who can participate to the PT: all the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for parasites from EU member states or associated countries.

Procedure to analyse the panel of samples: a panel of 3 PT items is delivered to the participants. Each item consist of a fish sandwich spiked or not with Anisakidae L3 larvae free of their capsule. Participants are requested to analyze the items within 3 days after the delivery to the lab by one of the following methods: i) candling; ii) compressorium; iii) UV examination after freezing; iv) digestion.

Criteria for the result evaluation: results evaluation is only qualitative, the results are considered “correct” if the laboratory identify properly items spiked or not with Anisakidae larvae, or “incorrect” in case of false positive or false negative. The participating laboratory has to indicate the number of larvae detected in each item. The final evaluation is “positive” if the results of all items were correct or “negative” if at least one result was incorrect.

Instruction    Procedure

 

PT-05: Detection of Echinococcus sp. worms in the intestinal mucosa of the definitive host

Aim of the PT: correctly identify the presence of worms of Echinococcus sp. in a matrix made by intestinal mucosa.

Who can participate to the PT: all the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for parasites from EU member states or associated countries.

Procedure to analyse the panel of samples: a panel of 3 PT items is delivered to the participants. Each 12 ml item consists of 8 ml of homogenized intestinal mucosa plus 4 ml of ethanol 70%, spiked or not with worms of Echinococcus sp. Participants are requested to analyse the items by the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT) within 7 days after the delivery to the lab.

Criteria for the result evaluation: results evaluation is only qualitative, the results of the SCT are reported “correct” or “incorrect”, irrespective of the number of worms in the sample/s. Final evaluation is considered “positive” if all spiked items are successfully detected.

Instruction    Procedure

 

PT-06: Detection of anti-Toxoplasma IgG in animal serum samples

Aim of the PT: detection of anti-Toxoplasma IgG in goat serum samples.

Who can participate to the PT: all the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for parasites from EU member states or associated countries.

Procedure to analyse the panel of samples: a panel of 5 serum samples is delivered to each participant. Each item consists of an aliquot of serum collected from naturally Toxoplasma gondii infected goat (positive) and from Toxoplasma gondii free goat (negative). Participants are requested to analyze PT items within 7 days after the delivery to the lab by one of the serological tests based on the detection of anti-Toxoplasma IgG . Each laboratory should choose the test routinely used in the lab.

Criteria for the result evaluation: results evaluation is only qualitative, the participating laboratory has to indicate the positivity or negativity of each tested PT item, together with the IgG titer found in each positive sample. Each serum sample is reported “correctly classified” or “incorrectly classified”. Final evaluation is considered “positive” if all samples are correctly classified and “negative” in all the other cases. IgG titers will be considered as additional information on the reliability of the tests used by participants.

Instruction    Procedure

 

PT-07: Molecular identification of Anisakid nematodes at the species level

Aim of the PT: to correctly identify anisakid L3 larvae and DNA at species level by a molecular method.

Who can participate to the PT: all the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for parasites from EU member states or associated countries.

PT Panel composition: the panel of samples consists of 4 tubes: 2 tubes containing a single fragment of Anisakidae L3 larva each; and 2 tubes containing DNA extracted from a single Anisakidae L3 larva.

Procedure to analyze the panel of samples: the EURLP recommends performing the analysis using one of the EURLP methods  MI-04  or MI-10.  Any other suitable molecular method performed by the participant laboratory can be applied.

Criteria for the result evaluation: results evaluation is only qualitative, the participants have to correctly identify the larvae in the samples at species level. Final evaluation is considered “positive” if all species are successfully identified.

 Instruction    Procedure

 

PT-08: Molecular identification of Echinococcus at the species level

Aim of the PT: the molecular identification of Echinococcus DNA at species level.

Who can participate to the PT: all the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for parasites from EU member states or associated countries.

PT Panel composition: the panel of samples will consist of three tubes containing DNA purified from: Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.), Echinococcus multilocularis and a negative control.

Procedure to analyze the panel of samples: the EURLP recommends the use of the multiplex PCR assay developed by Trachsel and colleagues (Parasitology, 2007, 134(Pt 6): 911-20) for the identification of Echinococcus at species level. However, any other suitable molecular-based method will be accepted.

Criteria for the result evaluation: results evaluation is only qualitative, the participants have to correctly identify the two species belonging to the genus Echinococcus. Final evaluation is considered “positive” if all species are successfully identified including the negative control.

Instruction     Procedure

 

 

Reports: The EURLP provides an Individual PT Report including the following information: i) the number of spiked larvae per item; ii) the number of larvae detected by the laboratory in each item; iii) the final evaluation and iv) recommendation based on the laboratory performance, and a Final PT report presented during the annual NRL workshop and afterwards published on the EURLP web site. To guarantee confidentiality, the individual PT report is available only to the participant lab, and in the final PT report, only lab codes are displayed. The PT Reports are retained by EURLP for 10 years. The EURLP reserves itself the right to provide the laboratory PT result to the competent authority on request.

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