2nd Meeting of the Panel on Diagnostics and Quality Assurance

Vienna, 2011-10-10/12


The Panel meeting, which was held back to back with the EPPO Workshop for the Heads of Laboratories, was hosted by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) in Vienna. The Panel continued its task of developing diagnostic protocols for regulated pests. Altogether, 109 Diagnostic Protocols including 7 general standards have now been approved and published and about 10 more are in different stages of preparation.

The following protocols were considered to be ready to be sent for country consultation following consultation with the author: Tetranychus evansi, Phytophthora kernoviae and Pepino mosaic virus.


Work on the following protocols continues

The work on the protocols on Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Xanthomonas pv. vesicatoria, Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae, 'Candidatus Liberibacter' and Erwinia amylovora will continue at the Panel on Diagnostics in Bacteriology (Oct., 2011). 

The revision of the protocols on Bursaphelenchus xylophilusMeloidogyne chitwoodi & Meloidogyne fallax, and Globodera rostochiensis & Globodera pallida will be presented at the next Panel on Diagnostics in Nematology in 2012. 

The protocol on Tomato infectious chlorosis virus and Tomato chlorosis virus was agreed to be the priority (in terms of the need for a harmonised protocol) among the virology protocols that are on the list of those under preparation. This will be discussed at the first Panel on Diagnostics in Virology in 2012. The protocol on Potato stolbur phytoplasma has been postponed. 

The revision of the protocol on Fusarium foetens was discussed and various suggestions and comments made. It was agreed to discuss these points with the author and that a revised version should be presented at the EPPO/European Mycology Network meeting in 2012. The protocol on Alternaria gaisen and A. mali has been put on hold until more information is available on these pests.


New or revised drafts of the following protocols are expected for 2012

Phytophthora lateralis (new), Chalara fraxinea (new), Synchytrium endobioticum (rev.), Spodoptera spp (new), Drosophila suzukii (new), Aleurocanthus spiniferus & A. woglumii (rev.),Tomato infectious chlorosis virus and Tomato chlorosis virus (new).

From 2012 for the pest specific standards it was agreed that a survey should be organised to identify the priority of new pest specific protocols (1 per discipline) and priorities for revision (1 per discipline).


New Standards

Standard on test performance studies and proficiency testing 
The progress made by the working group (WG), which met in June 2011 and prior to the current Panel, on the Standard on test performance studies and proficiency testing was presented. The Panel agreed that one standard should cover both topics. The WG will continue to work on this Standard by E-mail correspondence and at a further meeting in 2012 to finalise the document. 


Standard on DNA barcoding as an identification tool for regulated plant pests 
The draft standard on DNA barcoding as an identification tool for regulated plant pests, prepared in the framework of the EU FP7 project QBOL, was presented and discussed. The Panel agreed to an e-mail consultation on this standard in mid-March 2012 so that this standard could be sent for country consultation.


Other topics

Revision of PM7/98 Specific requirements for laboratories preparing accreditation for a plant pest diagnostic activity
A pilot online questionnaire was tested during the meeting. It will be sent to the experts in the Database if Diagnostic expertise in early 2012 and be available online for 3 months. The results from this questionnaire will be analysed and used to inform the revision of this protocol.


Validation database
A Summary sheet of validation data for a diagnostic test was finalised. It was agreed this should be included as an annex in the instructions for authors and sent to laboratories listed in the database of Diagnostic expertise and to NPPOs to gather validation data. 


Instructions for authors
The EPPO instructions for authors of diagnostic protocols were revised.



A presentation of the Q-bank project was made by Ms Edema (Dutch National Reference Centre). 

The improvements to the EPPO database on diagnostic expertise were presented (links to accreditation certificates; inclusion of technical auditors). It was agreed to add the category ‘technical experts’ to the database.

The latest version of the EPPO database Plant Quarantine data Retrieval system (PQR) was presented to the Panel along with the work towards the EPPO Global database. This work was very warmly received by the Panel.


Next meeting

The next meeting of the Panel on Diagnostics and Quality Assurance will be held in Poland in Warsaw in 2012. The provisional dates are 2012-10-16/18.