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CCQM-NAWG launches comparison of SI-traceable RNA measurement procedures to support COVID-19 diagnostic testing

The ability to accurately measure nucleic acids is crucial for COVID-19 molecular testing which detects the coronavirus's (SARS-CoV-2) genetic material (RNA).

The CCQM Working Group on Nucleic Acid Analysis (CCQM-NAWG) has launched a fast-tracked inter-laboratory study for SARS-CoV-2 genome measurement, coordinated by the LGC (UK), NIBSC (UK), NIST (US) and NIM (China). The study (CCQM-P199.b), will focus on measuring key genes that are targeted by diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2, and uses materials developed in China and the UK. More than a dozen National Metrology Institutes from around the world will participate in the study with the goal of supporting countries in providing globally standardized testing.

This study will allow high accuracy quantification of the biological reference standards that can support diagnostic manufacturers in their test development and ensure routine testing quality as it is expanded across hospitals and laboratories around the world.

Ensuring international standardization will support defined test performance criteria such as limit of detection, providing more confidence and better comparability of diagnostic test results for COVID-19 related molecular testing. This will enable meaningful exchange of information between countries and government agencies and ensure its maximum value in contributing to their decision-making.

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