Asia-Pacific Laboratory Proficiency Testing Workshop

The Australian Government is conducting a new aquatic animal disease proficiency testing programme. The program provides laboratories with the opportunity to assess their own diagnostic performance. This allows them to identify issues and improve their practices.

The programme involves eight rounds of proficiency testing carried out over four years. Diagnostic performance is assessed against ten priority fish and crustacean diseases. The first two rounds of samples were distributed for analysis in 2018.

The programme convened a proficiency testing workshop from 13-14 March in Bangkok, Thailand. The aim was to improve the performance of laboratories and technical personnel, by:

  • Providing an opportunity to discuss experience with the first two rounds of testing.
  • Improving personnel's understanding of diagnostic standards, proficiency testing procedures and laboratory accreditation.
  • Identifying current capability and future training needs to meet international trade requirements.

The workshop was convened by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), in collaboration with NACA. 33 laboratories from twelve countries in the region participated.

The programme builds on previous laboratory proficiency testing exercises held in 2012. These exercises, also supported by the Australian Government, significantly improved diagnostic performance.

The workshop included presentations and discussions on:

  • The importance of accurate diagnostics for aquatic animal disease to facilitate trade.
  • Quality assurance management systems and assay validation.
  • Australia's laboratory network and aquatic animal disease surveillance and diagnostic activities.
  • PCR laboratory design and laboratory workflows.
  • Sample preparation and extraction.
  • Trouble shooting and discussion on test performance.
  • Method validation
  • OIE Aquatic Manual update
  • Method implementation and equivalence testing.
  • Quality assurance and laboratory accreditation.
    Presentations on WSSV, YHV1 and MCV testing.
  • An overview of the WSSV outbreak and national surveillance in Australia.

NACA would like to thank the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and CSIRO/AAHL and for their generous support.

Download the report of the workshop from the link below.