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Sheffield, United Kingdom

Barnett D.,UK NEQAS for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping | Louzao R.,Duke University | Gambell P.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | De J.,DeePath Medical Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Cytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry | Year: 2013

Flow cytometry and other technologies of cell-based fluorescence assays are as a matter of good laboratory practice required to validate all assays, which when in clinical practice may pass through regulatory review processes using criteria often defined with a soluble analyte in plasma or serum samples in mind. Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has entered into a public dialogue in the U.S. regarding their regulatory interest in laboratory developed tests (LDTs) or so-called home brew assays performed in clinical laboratories. The absence of well-defined guidelines for validation of cell-based assays using fluorescence detection has thus become a subject of concern for the International Council for Standardization of Haematology (ICSH) and International Clinical Cytometry Society (ICCS). Accordingly, a group of over 40 international experts in the areas of test development, test validation, and clinical practice of a variety of assay types using flow cytometry and/or morphologic image analysis were invited to develop a set of practical guidelines useful to in vitro diagnostic (IVD) innovators, clinical laboratories, regulatory scientists, and laboratory inspectors. The focus of the group was restricted to fluorescence reporter reagents, although some common principles are shared by immunohistochemistry or immunocytochemistry techniques and noted where appropriate. The work product of this two year effort is the content of this special issue of this journal, which is published as 5 separate articles, this being Validation of Cell-based Fluorescence Assays: Practice Guidelines from the ICSH and ICCS - Part IV - Postanalytic considerations. © 2013 International Clinical Cytometry Society.

Peeling R.W.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Sollis K.A.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Glover S.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Crowe S.M.,Burnet Institute | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Measurement of CD4+ T-lymphocytes (CD4) is a crucial parameter in the management of HIV patients, particularly in determining eligibility to initiate antiretroviral treatment (ART). A number of technologies exist for CD4 enumeration, with considerable variation in cost, complexity, and operational requirements. We conducted a systematic review of the performance of technologies for CD4 enumeration. Methods and Findings: Studies were identified by searching electronic databases MEDLINE and EMBASE using a pre-defined search strategy. Data on test accuracy and precision included bias and limits of agreement with a reference standard, and misclassification probabilities around CD4 thresholds of 200 and 350 cells/μl over a clinically relevant range. The secondary outcome measure was test imprecision, expressed as % coefficient of variation. Thirty-two studies evaluating 15 CD4 technologies were included, of which less than half presented data on bias and misclassification compared to the same reference technology. At CD4 counts <350 cells/μl, bias ranged from -35.2 to +13.1 cells/μl while at counts >350 cells/μl, bias ranged from -70.7 to +47 cells/μl, compared to the BD FACSCount as a reference technology. Misclassification around the threshold of 350 cells/μl ranged from 1-29% for upward classification, resulting in under-treatment, and 7-68% for downward classification resulting in overtreatment. Less than half of these studies reported within laboratory precision or reproducibility of the CD4 values obtained. Conclusions: A wide range of bias and percent misclassification around treatment thresholds were reported on the CD4 enumeration technologies included in this review, with few studies reporting assay precision. The lack of standardised methodology on test evaluation, including the use of different reference standards, is a barrier to assessing relative assay performance and could hinder the introduction of new point-of-care assays in countries where they are most needed. © 2015, Public Library of Science. All rights reserved.

Sack U.,University of Leipzig | Barnett D.,UK NEQAS for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping | Demirel G.Y.,Yeditepe University | Fossat C.,University Hospital Timone | And 6 more authors.
Cytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry | Year: 2013

ISO 15189 has been introduced to enable any clinical laboratory, irrespective of geographic location, to be accredited against internationally recognized standards and therefore facilitate direct international comparison of laboratories. Together with increasing use of ISO 15189 for standardization and competition purposes, often triggered by demands of patients and clinicians, clinical flow cytometry laboratories are becoming increasingly challenged to introduce compliant quality management systems. Whilst in most countries, ISO 15189 accreditation is not yet compulsory, there is increasing evidence to suggest that the implementation of this standard is growing. As a result, the European Society of Clinical Cell Analysis (ESCCA) has analysed the impact of accreditation in clinical flow cytometry laboratories. It found, through a discussion forum, that staff qualification, adaptation of multicolour antibody panels, and implementation of a comprehensive quality system (including quality assessment) have been identified as major challenges. Copyright © 2013 International Clinical Cytometry Society.

Smit P.W.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Sollis K.A.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Fiscus S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Ford N.,World Health Organization | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: Dried blood spots (DBS) have been used as alternative specimens to plasma to increase access to HIV viral load (VL) monitoring and early infant diagnosis (EID) in remote settings. We systematically reviewed evidence on the performance of DBS compared to plasma for VL monitoring and EID. Methods and Findings: Thirteen peer reviewed HIV VL publications and five HIV EID papers were included. Depending on the technology and the viral load distribution in the study population, the percentage of DBS samples that are within 0.5 log of VL in plasma ranged from 52-100%. Because the input sample volume is much smaller in a blood spot, there is a risk of false negatives with DBS. Sensitivity of DBS VL was found to be 78-100% compared to plasma at VL below 1000 copies/ml, but this increased to 100% at a threshold of 5000 copies/ml. Unlike a plasma VL test which measures only cell free HIV RNA, a DBS VL also measures proviral DNA as well as cell-associated RNA, potentially leading to false positive results when using DBS. The systematic review showed that specificity was close to 100% at DBS VL above 5000 copies/ml, and this threshold would be the most reliable for predicting true virologic failure using DBS. For early infant diagnosis, DBS has a sensitivity of 100% compared to fresh whole blood or plasma in all studies. Conclusions: Although limited data are available for EID, DBS offer a highly sensitive and specific sampling strategy to make viral load monitoring and early infant diagnosis more accessible in remote settings. A standardized approach for sampling, storing, and processing DBS samples would be essential to allow successful implementation. Trial Registration: PROSPERO Registration #: CRD42013003621. © 2014 Smit et al.

Whitby A.,UK NEQAS for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping | Whitby L.,UK NEQAS for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping | Fletcher M.,UK NEQAS for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping | Reilly J.T.,UK NEQAS for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping | And 3 more authors.
Cytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry | Year: 2012

Background: Flow cytometric CD34 + stem cell enumeration is routinely performed to optimize timing of peripheral blood stem cell collections and assess engraftment capability of the apheresis product. While a number of different flow methodologies have been described, the highly standardized ISHAGE protocol is currently the most widely employed, with 204/255 (81%) international participants in the UK NEQAS CD34 + stem cell enumeration program indicating their use of this method. Recently, two laboratories were identified as persistent poor performers, a fact attributed to incorrect ISHAGE protocol usage/setup. This prompted UK NEQAS to question whether other laboratories were making similar errors and, if so, how this might affect individual EQA performance. Methods and Results: In send out 0801, where two stabilized samples were issued, the EQA center surveyed 255 participants with flow analysis data and subsequent results collected. One hundred and ninety-six laboratories returned results with 103 returning dot plots. Eighty-three out of one hundred and three stated that they used the ISHAGE protocol gating strategy but 43% (36/83) were incorrectly set-up. Analysis of the data showed those incorrectly using single platform ISHAGE gating strategy were twice as likely to fail an EQA exercise compared to those using the protocol correctly. This failure rate increased two fold when incorrect ISHAGE protocol was used in a dual platform setting. Conclusion: This study suggests a widespread fundamental lack of understanding of the ISHAGE protocol and the need to deploy it correctly, potentially having significant clinical implications and highlights the need to monitor participants rigorously in their deployment of the ISHAGE protocol. It is hoped that once these findings have been disseminated, performance can be improved. © 2011 International Clinical Cytometry Society.

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