News on Diagnostics

News on diagnostics

On this page you can read about the latest test adaptations, changes in reports or other matters concerning the diagnostics that are important to you. You will also find editions of Diagnostic news.

Continuity of WBVR activities as a result of coronavirus

13 March 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 continues to worsen, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that COVID-19 is a health risk of international importance. 

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As a result of the global spread of the corona virus, the delivery of diverse articles needed for biomedical and veterinary research is problematic. A major share of these products is being delivered to regions with the highest level of infection in order to diagnose people and prevent the further spread of the virus. Unfortunately, this also means that other regions, such as the Netherlands, where the infection level is lower, will encounter delivery problems. This includes products that are crucial to biomedical and veterinary research at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) because we use some of the same equipment that is used to diagnose humans.

WBVR is working on all fronts to continue its work and activities. To meet this crisis, we are in constant contact with our suppliers and we are looking for alternative solutions. In doing this, we take into account the measures announced by the Dutch government.

The situation with regard to deliveries and measures taken by our government changes from day to day. We hope that you understand our situation and we want to ensure you that we are doing our utmost to optimally carry out your orders as soon as possible.

If you would prefer to speak to us about this, please contact Dispatching Service Unit (DSU) via mail or via telephone +31 (0)320-238302.

Submissions of material for testing

5 March 2020

When test material is submitted, we have noticed that there is still some room for improvement in the way order forms are completed and samples labelled. Moreover, because of the more stringent quality requirements arising from ISO 17025, there are a few changes to the reporting of results.

New layout for results

As of 17 February 2020, we have been sending our results according to a new layout. This is due to the new ISO 17025 standards. From now on, the report will be called the Certificate of Analysis.

This certificate clearly indicates which data were submitted by the client.

The layout of the table of results is unchanged, but there is now explicit mention of the fact that the results apply to the sample(s) as received by WBVR.

At the bottom of the certificate, there is now a table which, for ISO 17025 accredited tests, refers to the scope of Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (scope no. L389, which can be found on the website of the Dutch Accreditation Council [RvA], covers the tests carried out that are accredited by the RvA) and explanatory notes on the conformity of these accredited tests.

Amendment report

Under the new ISO 17025 standard, from now on we are required to mention on the revised Certificate of Analysis that it is an amendment report. We must also mention the part of the certificate in which the change has been made compared with the previous certificate. Additionally, we must indicate whether the change was made at the client’s request, or was made on the basis of a check by Wageningen Bioveterinary Research.

This requirement means that the person reading the certificate can tell which changes, if any, have been made compared with a previous certificate. It is therefore very important that all the information provided on the order form is accurate. Whilst it is still possible to subsequently change this information, this will be visible on the Certificate of Analysis.

Submitting test material for CEM diagnostics

A number of things are very important to bear in mind when submitting test material for CEM testing.

a.    For example, swabs must be used to take samples of the material, and these swabs must be sent in an Amies medium (medium with activated carbon). These swabs have an expiry date. If this has elapsed when they arrive at the lab, the swabs cannot be used for testing.

b.    Nor will swabs be acceptable for testing if they have not been transported in a refrigerated environment (4-10 oC) after the sample was taken and have not arrived within at WBVR within 36 hours of the sample being taken.

c.     The sampling location is very important for these swabs. The sampling location must be mentioned on both the order form and the swab. Otherwise, it must be clear what the connection is between the swab and the sample, as described on the order form.

Completing order forms

We frequently still receive order forms completed by hand, despite the option of completing the order form digitally. It is not a problem to complete the form by hand, as long as the handwriting is clearly legible. If the completed forms are hard to decipher, this can result in incorrect information being put on the Certificate of Analysis.

This information can be amended, but this will be mentioned on the Certificate of Analysis. To avoid this, it is therefore very important that the order form is completed correctly and legibly.

WBVR appointed as NRL for a large number of animal diseases

3 March 2020

Large sections of the new Official Controls Regulation (OCR, EU 2017/625) entered into force on 14 December last. This Regulation replaces a lot of old European legislation, and brings together everything to do with official controls carried out by, or on behalf of the competent bodies. This regulation covers a lot of areas, such as food safety, animal feeds and genetically modified organisms, animal health, animal welfare and, eventually, organisms harmful to plants.

The OCR requires all member states to appoint national reference laboratories (NRL), at least if a European reference laboratory has also been designated. In the sphere of animal health, WBVR has been appointed as the NRL for a large number of animal diseases. The most recent updated list can be found in Staatscourant (Official Gazette) 69789 dated 23 December 2019. The OCR also stipulates requirements for laboratories which perform tests as part of the official controls. The applicable standard is ISO 17025 accreditation for the tests used. At present, WBVR has more than 60 accredited tests, and is working to add to this number.

Laboratory results of accredited tests by WBVR are therefore always accepted for the purposes of official controls and, for example, export diagnostics.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis ELISA assays

May 2018 - Wageningen Bioveterinary Research would like to inform you that as of 1 May 2018, our laboratory will no longer offer Mycobacterium (para)tuberculosis ELISA assays.

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis ELISA bovis (article number MTU01), Mycobacterium tuberculosis ELISA avium/para (MTU04), Mycobacterium tuberculosis ELISA MPB70 (MTU05) and the Mycobacterium paratuberculosis ELISA (MPT06) assays will not be carried out after this date due to the fact that the materials on which the assays are based are no longer available. Because of our current high quality criteria, we have decided to discontinue the tests.

Our laboratory is working on the development of animal species-specific alternatives and we will keep you informed of any news in this area.