12th Meeting of the Panel on Diagnostics
The meeting took place in Paris and this was a special meeting as it marked the 10 year anniversary of the Panel. The Panel continued its task of developing diagnostic protocols for regulated pests. Altogether, 81 Diagnostic Protocols and 3 general standards (Use of EPPO diagnostic protocols, Documentation and reporting on a diagnosis and Basic requirements for quality management in plant pest diagnosis laboratories) are already approved/published and about 30 more are in different stages of preparation. The 'Instructions to authors on the format and content of a diagnostic protocol' are now finalized.
The following protocols were considered ready for final approval:
Plasmopara halstedii, Ditylenchus dipsaci and D. destructor, Radopholus similis, Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. fallax (provided that validation data was provided before 2008-09).
The following protocols were considered ready to be sent to EPPO member governments for their critical comments:
Diaporthe vaccinii, Guignardia citricarpa (revision of PM 7/17), Hirschmanniella spp., Xiphinema americanum sensu lato and Monilinia fruticola (revision of PM7/18). The Panel agreed that the protocols for Diaporthe vaccinii, Guignardia citricarpa (revision of PM 7/17) and Monilinia fruticola (revision of PM7/18) can be sent for country consultation and that it should be presented to the Working Party for provisional final approval if all comments can be addressed by the EPPO Secretariat in consultation with the authors.
Draft protocols were presented to the Panel for the first time:
Ceratitis capitata, Alternaria gaisen and A. mali, Anisogramma anomala, Gibberella circinata, Melampsora medusae, Raspberry ringspot virus, Potato stolbur phytoplasma. Work on these drafts should continue (for some of them in the specialized Panels).
New drafts of the following protocols should be available for 2009:
Andean potato latent virus, Andean potato mottle virus, Cowpea mild mottle virus Synchytrium endobioticum (revision of PM7/28), Nacobbus aberrans (revision of PM7/5).
Other issues discussed:
The Panel discussed the criteria to accept the inclusion of a new test in EPPO diagnostic protocols. It was concluded that a new test proposed for inclusion in a diagnostic protocol should ideally include validation data.
Definitions were agreed to be included in PM7/76 Purpose of EPPO diagnostic protocols.
Preparation of a standard on reference material: the Panel noted that an EU project on infrastructure should address the issue of reference collections and is expected to begin at the end of 2008. It agreed that it was wiser to wait for the outcome of the EU project and not to initiate a parallel work.