Cryptococcal antigen detection
Extension to scope to be applied for
Cryptococcus neoformans is an opportunistic fungus found in the soil contaminated with bird droppings causing systemic mycoses that exhibit high virulence in severely immunocompromised individuals. Globally, approximately one million cases of cryptococcosis occur annually, causing 1700 deaths every day. The detection of cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) from serum, cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) and broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) specimens is the basis of diagnosing cryptococcosis in suspected patients. Latex agglutination (LAT) and Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) are commonly used in diagnostic and reference laboratories with a sensitivity of over 90%. Lateral flow assays (LFA) are used as point of care testing (POCT) with a sensitivity of over 95%. WHO (World Health Organization) recommends CrAg detection using LFA and LAT as standard first-line tests for cryptococcosis.
PURPOSE OF PROGRAMME:
To provide EQA for laboratories determining the presence of cryptococcal antigen in serum, BAL and cerebrospinal samples
MATERIAL PROVIDED: Serum, bronchial lavage and/or simulated CSF
DISTRIBUTIONS PER YEAR: 3
SAMPLES PER DISTRIBUTION: 2
FREQUENCY OF DISTRIBUTION: http://www.ukneqasmicro.org.uk/menu/distribution-timetable
PROGRAMME OF ANALYSIS:
Results are entered online via the UK NEQAS secure website. The distribution is open for two weeks. Intended results are usually uploaded the day after closing date. Late results are not accepted after intended results are uploaded.
Qualitative detection in accordance with the intended result. General descriptive statistics.
PERSISTENT POOR PERFORMANCE:
See the Annual Directory for UK and Irish participants only
The first distribution of UK NEQAS for Microbiology was sent out by the then Public Health Laboratory Services on the 1st of May 1971 organised by Dr Peter Crone. This distribution consisted of one scheme, three bacteriology specimens, sent to 67 laboratories in the UK. One of our recent distributions consisted of 12 different schemes, comprising 8 bacteriology, 13 serology, 10 molecular and 9 mycology specimens, and sent to 53 countries representing over 1300 laboratories. UK NEQAS for Microbiology, operated by Public Health England, is a UKAS accredited proficiency testing provider No. 4715.