Proficiency testing

The European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease (AI/ND) organizes an annual proficiency test (PT) for National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) and selected third countries.

The PT scheme is mainly intended to assess the laboratory capacity to identify and characterise AI viruses (mainly H5 and H7 subtypes) and Avian Paramyxoviruses type 1 by means of recommended molecular and classical virological methods. The PT scheme also includes the assessment of the capacity to detect specific antibodies for AI viruses and Avian Paramyxoviruses type 1 by means of standard serological methods. Any external laboratory willing to participate to the PT can also join the scheme in a separate manner.

Distribution of the PT panels is arranged by the EURL. Participation is free of charge for NRLs from EU and selected third countries whilst for external laboratories a cost recovery basis is in place.


The EURL PT scheme consists of the following steps:

  • Application – an official invitation is sent via email
  • PT panel shipment – the panels of coded blind samples are shipped to all participating laboratories. Information about the samples along with results datasheets and instructions are communicated via email
  • Laboratory analysis – the laboratories are asked to test the samples under normal routine test conditions
  • Reporting of results – the results datasheets are sent back via email to the EURL
  • Statistical analysis – submitted results are evaluated and statistically analysed
  • Final report –upon global statistical analysis of the results, a coded final report is submitted to all NRLs from EU and selected third countries laboratories. A unique and confidential code is attributed to each participating laboratory to allow participants to verify their own results and discreetly compare them to the expected results and to those of the other participants.

For external laboratories willing to join the PT scheme, the application is achieved by contacting the technical reference point and coordinator of the PT activities and/or the secretariat office (see contacts below). Upon reception of results, external laboratories will receive an individual report of their results analysis and, when applicable, a final report including results of all laboratories participating in the same PT round.


Responsible for the PT scheme

Calogero Terregino
Director of the EURL for AI and ND
Phone +39 049 8084377

Technical reference point
and coordinator of the PT activities

Viviana Valastro, Ph.D.
Phone +39 049 8084118


Francesca Ellero
Phone +39 049 8084371