The EQAPOL Flow Cytometry program assesses the proficiency of NIAID/DAIDS-supported and other interested research laboratories at performing multiple flow cytometry protocols. Proficiency is assessed with the goal of helping all participating laboratories to perform the assay. Participating laboratories are required to complete two External Proficiency (EP) rounds per year
For each EP round, EQAPOL provides all of the reagents to run each assay including: PBMCs selected based on their cytokine production following stimulation, stimulation plates containing lyophilized peptides and staining plates containing lyophilized antibodies and all other necessary instrument set-up and staining reagents. Sites are required to run the assay using the EQAPOL-provided kit and protocol. Currently, the EQA program assess proficiency using an 8-color Intracellular Cytokine Staining (ICS) assay that measures IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α and CD107α.
Sites are required to run the EQAPOL-provided flow cytometry assay and report both site-analyzed data and raw FCS files. Statistical assessment, troubleshooting, final report and discussion of results occur between participating laboratories and EQAPOL/NIAID. For each EP, sites are provided with a site-specific report. Participating laboratories are blinded with a unique EQAPOL site ID, and each laboratory is unblinded with respect to only their data sets.
The EQAPOL Flow Cytometry Proficiency Testing Program was recently accredited to the International Organization for Standardization/ International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17043:2010 standards by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).
A2LA Cert 3614.01