Pre-Conference Workshop

Pre-ESCV Workshop: Out of a Pandemic - Lessons Learned for better Future Viral Diagnostics

This will be a one-day workshop designed to consider the lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic to improve infectious disease diagnostics with the following key messages:

1) The relevance of the specific measurands in clinical management of infectious disease

2) The availability of reference materials at concentrations that support clinical decision-making /public health management

3) The challenges to Harmonise measurement for complex markers like serology

4) The opportunities and challenges for “Agnostic Assays” such as NGS and Mass Spec


Date: Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Time: 10:00 – 17:00


Registration: To register for the workshop, please proceed to the online registration system. You can complete your workshop registration together with your conference registration process.


Preliminary Pre-Conference Workshop




10:00 - 10:15

Welcome and opening of the workshop
Neil Almond, UK

10:15- 12:00

Session I: Molecular Diagnostics


Chairs: Paul Klapper, UK & Clare Morris,UK

Maria Zambon (UKHSA, UK): Developing new molecular assays at pace - what common reference materials are required urgently?

Martin Kammel (Instand Dusseldorf, Germany): What have we learnt from molecular EQA?

Clare Morris (NIBSC – MHRA, UK): Reference Materials for Calibration, Verification, Validation and Sequence Variation

Denise O’Sullivan  (LGC-NML, UK): Digital PCR – a method to calibrate reference materials or a diagnostic assay for infectious diseases?

Discussion to cover the following topics:

What are the challenges for establishing new molecular assays? 

Which comes first new assays or a clinical need to measure virus? 

What is the relative value of time to result, sensitivity, accuracy?

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch break

13:00 - 14:30

Session II: Serology


Chairs: Heli Harvala, UK and Neil Almond, UK

Amanda Semper (UKHSA, UK): The WHO sponsored Harmony study

Neil Almond (NIBSC-MHRA, UK): Physical Standards and Validation Panels to Compare Serological Assays

Kathryn Harris (Barts Hospital, UK): Using serological assays when quantity matters

Discussion to cover the following points:

Relating antibodies measured in assays with those that are clinically relevant?

Specificity and quantity – which is more relevant?

What are the risks and benefits from having multiple serology platforms in a lab?

14:30 - 15:00

Coffee break  

15.00 – 16.30

Session III: Agnostic Diagnostics


Chairs: Peter Coyle, Qatar & Jacqueline Fryer,UK

Angela Douglas (NHS England, UK): Lessons learnt from Human Genomics

Dave Cregeen (GenQA, UK): Establishing external quality assessment for diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 sequncing

Ravneet Bhuller (NIBSC-MHRA, UK): The value of reference materials in NGS based diagnostics

Discussion to cover the following points:

When do we need Agnostic assays to be used?

Local Hospital or Regional Referral Labs?

Is quantitative or qualitative info needed from these assays?

How can the quality of assays be assured?

Where should the Bioinformatic expertise be located?

The final speaker (TBC) in this session will focus on future – how can we optimise diagnostic platforms and what do we need to consider with the IVDR.

16.30 – 17.00

Session IV: Future Challenges


Chair: Neil Almond, UK

Penny Wilson (MHRA, UK): Future Developments and Frameworks to Optimise Diagnostic Platforms - Will the IVDR help or hinder?



Organised By

Kenes Group, Office: Kenes M+