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ELISA and multichannel pipetteWe are setting up an Interlaboratory Comparison (ILC) for the quantification of Influenza A nucleoprotein. ILCs measure the ability of a lab to deliver accurate results and are an important part of quality assurance programs. Participating in an ILC or Proficiency Testing (PT) scheme is one of the criteria necessary to gain ISO 17025 accreditation for a particular testing method. As there is no PT scheme available for Influenza A nucleoprotein quantification, we are setting up an ILC.

MERS outbreak during Asia visitMembers of our team recently visited Asia, including a trip to the South Korean capital, Seoul. At the time Seoul was experiencing an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Sydrome (MERS). This illness affects the respiratory system and is caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The first human cases of this novel virus strain were reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. News of the spread of MERS-CoV added to the already high level of concern about viruses in Asia. Just some of the recent well publicised outbreaks in the region are Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002/2003; Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (HFMD) in 2008 and 2009; and Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (Swine Flu) in 2009.