J Lab Med Qual Assur.  2014 Dec;36(4):161-170. 10.15263/jlmqa.2014.36.4.161.

Annual Report on External Quality Assessment of Viral Markers and Serological Tests for Syphilis in Korea (2013)

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. chayoung@cau.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Dongkuk University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.


We performed two trials on the external quality assessment of viral markers and serological tests for syphilis (STS) organised by the Immunoserology Subcommittee of the Korean Association of Quality Assurance for Clinical Laboratories in 2013. In each trial, we delivered 3 kinds of pooled sera specimens to 1,021 institutions for external proficiency testing. Pooled sera were checked for their homogeneity and stability by using more than 3 other methods between the day of their manufacture and 3 days after despatching. The numbers of participating laboratories were 1,019 (99.8%) and 1,020 (99.8%) for the first and second trials, respectively. The most commonly tested items were hepatitis B surface antigen followed by antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen, anti-human immunodeficiency virus, anti-hepatitis C virus, STS, and anti-hepatitis B core. The most frequently used methods for detecting viral markers were the chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) and the electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, which generated a few false positive results. In contrast, false negative results were frequently found through the immunochromatography assay, the use of which for detecting viral markers has been steadily increasing in recent years. The new tests, turbidoimmunoassay and CLIA, have recently been introduced for the measurement of non-treponemal and treponemal antibodies, and their use is also increasing.


Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; HIV; Immunoassay; Laboratory proficiency testing; Serology; Syphilis
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