Proof of Proficiency of Decentralized Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Diagnostics in Germany
A proficiency test was performed to verify that the regional veterinary laboratories in Germany can provide reliable foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) diagnostics. Overall, 24 samples were to be analyzed for FMDV-specific nucleic acids by real-time RT-PCR, and 16 samples had to be tested by ELISA for antibodies against non-structural proteins of FMDV. For both methods, a range of dilutions of the original materials (inactivated FMDV vaccine or convalescent serum from infected animals, respectively) was prepared, and negative samples were included as well. All 23 participating laboratories were able to detect FMDV genome down to a dilution of 1:100,000 of the vaccine preparation. Even at a dilution of 1:1,000,000, FMDV genome was detected by more than half of the participants. With the antibody ELISA, all sera were correctly identified by all participating laboratories. No false-positive results were returned with either method. All participating laboratories were found to be fully proficient in FMDV diagnostics.