Multiplex (MPX) real-time PCR methods are rapid molecular diagnostic test systems enabling simultaneous detection of multiple pathogens causing similar clinical manifestations, e. g. respiratory, gastrointestinal or sexually transmitted diseases. The use of syndromic MPX testing has increased in clinical microbiology diagnostic settings during the recent years as a variety of commercial test systems have become available and they have become more cost-eﬀective.
MPX tests set new requirements for external quality assessment (EQA) compared to traditional mono or duplex tests. It is not economical for the laboratories to participate in several pathogen-specifc EQA schemes. However, large EQA test panels are also costly and therefore the EQA providers must optimize the number of specimens/pathogens per round as well as the number of distributions per year. Multiple distributions throughout the year oﬀer participants regularity to their external quality control and a sufcient selection of pathogens should be covered during the annual scheme.
Labquality´s EQA program for multiplex methods