13 September 2018
Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics (QCMD), an international provider for External Quality Assessment (EQA) programmes, has introduced a programme for molecular diagnostics of Zika virus (ZIKV) in 2016, which has been continuously offered to interested laboratories since that time. The EQA schemes provided from 2016 to 2018 revealed that 86.7% (92/106), 82.4% (89/108), and 88.2% (90/102) of the participating laboratories reported correct results for all samples, respectively in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The review of results indicated a need for improvement concerning analytical sensitivity and specificity of the test methods. Comparison with the outcomes of other EQA initiatives briefly summarized here show that continuous quality assurance is important to improve laboratory performance and to increase preparedness with reliable diagnostic assays for effective patient management, infection and outbreak control.