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Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2011 Sep;15(9):579-86. doi: 10.1089/gtmb.2011.0015. Epub 2011 Apr 10.

Multiallelic synthetic quality control material: lessons learned from the cystic fibrosis external quality assessment scheme.

Author information

  • 1Biomedical Quality Assurance Research Unit, Department of Human Genetics, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Abstract

AIM:

With the arrival of increasingly complex molecular tests, we are obliged to create new ways to monitor and troubleshoot the underperformance of these multiplex assays. A synthetic multiallelic quality control material has been designed to augment genomic DNA controls. We aimed to evaluate the control on a large scale, testing it on a wide variety of oligonucleotide ligation assays, test protocols, and analysis software. In addition, we investigated how laboratories treat untried and complex materials.

METHODS:

The synthetic control monitored 32 cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator mutations and polymorphisms simultaneously. Participants of a cystic fibrosis external quality assessment scheme were invited to analyze the quality control.

RESULTS:

In total, 58 laboratories participated in this study. Twenty-seven (47%) laboratories detected 32 variants; another 27 laboratories (47%) detected from 31 to 4 variants and 4 participants reported no variants (6%). The main observations included administrative errors when indicating variants on a checklist, errors caused by misreading the instructions for use of the control or assay, and technical problems related to the assay used.

CONCLUSION:

Synthetic quality control materials proved to be valuable in troubleshooting underperforming assays and complement existing genomic controls. The study also revealed a strong need for increased quality control in the postanalytical phase of testing.

PMID:
21476898
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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