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Introduction. Inter-laboratory comparative testing must be conducted under the direction of the National Reference Laboratory for Trichinella in each Member State of the EU with the aim to ensure the quality of the approved digestion method and to evaluate the competence of laboratories in Trichinella detection. For the first time in Serbia, the National Reference Laboratory for Trichinellosis (NRLT INEP) organized such external quality assessment (EQA) for the detection of Trichinella larvae in meat by the Magnetic Stirrer Method (MSM). The aim of this study was to enable laboratories interested to take part in the EQA and to assess the quality of their MSM performance.
Materials and Methods. The EQA was organized by NRLT INEP according to ISO/IEC 17043:2010. The EQA test panel, which was sent to eight laboratories within Veterinary Institutes, consisted of three 100±5 g minced pork meat balls with identical numbers of larvae. Two meat balls were spiked with five viable Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae (L1), and one meat ball was not spiked.
Results and Conclusions. Evaluation made on the basis of qualitative results showed that 100% of participants successfully completed the testing. Quantitative evaluation showed that, on average, only 60% of Trichinella larvae were detected among all participants. The main importance of this study is that it enabled laboratories across the country to be compared. This should be efficient stimulus for improvement of analytical performance over time. Therefore, it will be of value if the participants and other official laboratories in Serbia take part annually in EQAs organized at national level. The results obtained in this study could provide useful information to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Veterinary Directorate and be of importance for promoting the one health concept in the country as a whole.
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