External Quality Assurance Program Oversight Laboratory (EQAPOL)

In September 2010, the DHVI became the home of the NIAID DIADS External Quality Assurance Oversight Program Laboratory (EQAPOL)  under the leadership of Thomas Denny, MSc, MPhil.

The goal of the EQAPOL program is to support the development, implementation and oversight of external quality assurance programs that monitor laboratories involved in HIV/AIDS research and vaccine trials around the world. The EQAPOL program currently administers four External Quality Assurance (EQA) programs with over 91 participating sites worldwide to assess proficiency in the following assays: interferon-gamma (IFN-y), Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Spot (ELISpot) assayIntracellular Cytokine Staining by Flow CytometryLuminex bead-based assay, and HIV incidence assay testing.  

In addition to External Quality Assurance programs, the EQAPOL program has established and continues to add to an HIV Viral Diversity Panel that represents the current genetic and geographic diversity of HIV. The goal of the EQAPOL Viral Diversity program is to establish a panel of fully characterized viruses from acute/early and chronic HIV infections. The panel of viruses can be used for various applications, including:

  • Impact of genetic diversity on assay performance
  • Developing/validating new assays
  • Assisting regulators to evaluate test kits
  • Monitoring HIV drug resistance
  • Informing vaccine development

For more information about the EQAPOL Viral Diversity Program and available panels, visit here

In support of these programs, IVQAC maintains GCLP practices and is a College of American Pathologists-accredited biorepository, which contains well-characterized cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for use in External Quality Assurance testing and viral culture.

Numbers of Interest:

  • Four External Quality Assessment (EQA) Programs
  • 91 EQA Sites across 19 countries
  • 61 Sites Signed up to Receive Viral Diversity Samples
  • 10,061 Viral Samples Shared (9/2018) with 1,191 samples shared this year

*The IFN-y ELISpot, Flow Cytometry and Luminex External Quality Assurance programs are International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO) 17043 accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation as a Proficiency Testing provider (A2LA Cert. 3614.01). See ISO section for more details

Contact Information:

Andrea Pappas, Ph.D., EQAPOL Program Manager

Cassie Porth, EQAPOL Program Coordinator