Assessors assemble: the need for harmonised external quality assessment schemes for emerging diagnostic methodologies in the field of parasitology
Global travel and migration trends have meant a huge increase in the numbers of people exposed to tropical parasitic diseases. Thus, there is an increasing need for robust, reproducible and reliable diagnostic techniques in the field.
Advanced molecular and lateral flow techniques have pushed the boundaries of clinical parasite diagnostics with their enhanced sensitivities and specificities. These emerging technologies are, however, not without their challenges, and recently there has been multiple evidence of a lack of consensus among protocols and results obtained by quality assessment of these novel technologies.
This commentary discusses findings from some recent quality assessment studies in the field of blood and faecal parasitology. The article also makes recommendations for a unified and harmonised approach towards delivering high-quality clinical parasitology diagnoses, especially through the use of proficiency testing.