Multicenter external quality assessment program for PCR detection of Mycobacterium ulcerans in clinical and environmental specimens

Miriam Eddyani, Caroline Lavender, Willem Bram De Rijk, Pieter Bomans, Janet Fyfe, Bouke de Jong, Françoise Portaels

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

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BACKGROUND: Mycobacterium ulcerans is the causative agent of Buruli ulcer (BU), a necrotizing disease of the skin, soft tissue and bone. PCR is increasingly used in the diagnosis of BU and in research on the mode of transmission and environmental reservoir of M. ulcerans.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of laboratories in detecting M. ulcerans using molecular tests in clinical and environmental samples by implementing sequential multicenter external quality assessment (EQA) programs. The second round of the clinical EQA program revealed somewhat improved performance.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Ongoing EQA programs remain essential and continued participation in future EQA programs by laboratories involved in the molecular testing of clinical and environmental samples for M. ulcerans for diagnostic and research purposes is strongly encouraged. Broad participation in such EQA programs also benefits the harmonization of quality in the BU research community and enhances the credibility of advances made in solving the transmission enigma of M. ulcerans.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)e89407
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Buruli Ulcer
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
  • Mycobacterium ulcerans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care


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