2012-05-03Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036291
First International External Quality Assessment Study on Molecular and Serological Methods for Yellow Fever Diagnosis
Méndez, Jairo A.
Sall, Amadou A.
Mantke, Oliver Donoso
Objective: We describe an external quality assurance (EQA) study designed to assess the efficiency and accurateness of molecular and serological methods used by expert laboratories performing YF diagnosis. Study Design: For molecular diagnosis evaluation, a panel was prepared of 14 human plasma samples containing specific RNA of different YFV strains (YFV-17D, YFV South American strain [Brazil], YFV IvoryC1999 strain), and specificity samples containing other flaviviruses and negative controls. For the serological panel, 13 human plasma samples with anti-YFVspecific antibodies against different strains of YFV (YFV-17D strain, YFV IvoryC1999 strain, and YFV Brazilian strain), as well as specificity and negative controls, were included. Results: Thirty-six laboratories from Europe, the Americas, Middle East, and Africa participated in these EQA activities. Only 16% of the analyses reported met all evaluation criteria with optimal performance. Serial dilutions of YFV-17D showed that in general the methodologies reported provided a suitable sensitivity. Failures were mainly due to the inability to detect wild-type strains or the presence of false positives. Performance in the serological diagnosis varied, mainly depending on the methodology used. Anti-YFV IgM detection was not performed in 16% of the reports using IIF or ELISA techniques, although it is preferable for the diagnosis of YFV acute infections. A good sensitivity profile was achieved in general; however, in the detection of IgM antibodies a lack of sensitivity of anti-YFV antibodies against the vaccine strain 17D was observed, and of the anti-YFV IgG antibodies against a West African strain. Neutralization assays showed a very good performance; however, the unexpected presence of false positives underlined the need of improving the running protocols. Conclusion: This EQA provides information on each laboratory’s efficacy of RT-PCR and serological YFV diagnosis techniques. The results indicate the need for improving serological and molecular diagnosis techniques and provide a follow-up of the diagnostic profiles.
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