The Department of Microbiology was accredited according to ISO 15189:2012 and ISO 17025:2017 on 21 February 2022 by the Office Luxembourgeois d’Accréditation et de Surveillance (OLAS).
Despite the intense activity of the Microbiology department due to the public health crisis and the various projects carried out at the same time, the Virology-Serology service team and the Bacteriology service team worked relentlessly to renew their accreditations and expand their scope of ISO 15189, reinforcing the LNS Microbiology’s position as a centre of excellence and expertise in microbiology.
We have hosted two different audits during the end of 2021. The first one took place at the end of November for our Bacteriology service and the second one at the beginning of December for our Virology-Serology service. The positive result of OLAS auditors’ inspection enabled us to renew the ISO 15189 and ISO 17025 accreditations for our Bacteriology service and the ISO 15189 accreditation for Virology-Serology service for a further year and successfully extend the scope of these accreditations to new analyses.
The Bacteriology service was enabled to extend its analyses in Mycology and in the field of antimicrobial resistance. “In Mycology, with the accreditation this year of the identification of dermatophytes by Maldi-Tof and of the antifungigram by microdilution, all mycology analyses are now accredited”, said Dr. Monique Perrin, Chief of the Bacteriology service of Microbiology department.
Furthermore, concerning antimicrobial resistance, the accreditation of all antibiograms according to the two reference methods (the Muller Hinton agar diffusion disc method and the MIC determination by microdilution) was the last accreditation to be obtained to attest the competence of the LNS in this field. It is now achieved. “All lights are now green to allow the LNS to become the country’s reference laboratory in the field of antimicrobial resistance“, observed Dr. Monique Perrin.
The Virology-Serology Service has expanded its scope of analyses in molecular biology, particularly on viral respiratory infections for which the LNS is the National Reference Laboratory. The extension of serological analyses is focused on confirmation tests and VZV (Varicella-Zona-Virus). Dr. Trung Nguyen, head of the virology-serology department of the microbiology department, explains “Accreditation is extremely important for the Virology Service, it obliges us to progress in continuous improvement”. The full scope of accreditation is accessible on the Portail Qualité – Luxembourg.
The ISO 17025:2017 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories*) standard is the international reference for testing laboratories. It establishes the general requirements of competence, impartiality, and coherence of the laboratory’s activities, thus guaranteeing the quality of the techniques used, the analyses performed and the reliability of the results produced.
Furthermore, the ISO 15189:2012 (Medical laboratories — Requirements for quality and competence*) specifies requirements for quality and competence in medical laboratories. It is used by medical laboratories to develop their quality management systems and assess their own competence. Additionally, it is a mechanism to confirm or recognise the competence of medical laboratories by laboratory customers, regulating authorities, and accreditation bodies.
Jean-Christophe Even, Quality officer of the Microbiology department, tells us about the importance of the ISO accreditation: “Quality is crucial in all areas, but it is of utmost importance in a laboratory where the delivery of results directly impacts the patient’s health. ISO 15189 and 17025 are a mark of confidence granted by OLAS to medical laboratories – an accreditation that demonstrates our commitment to providing a competent and high-quality service”.
*International Organization for Standardization webpage.
ISO 17025:2017 abstract. Accessed 07 March 2022 at: https://www.iso.org/standard/66912.html
ISO 15189:2012 abstract. Accessed 07 March 2022 at: https://www.iso.org/standard/56115.html