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  • The first round of the new format proficiency testing programme has now been completed

  • The results will be presented in the autoantibody workshop session in Chennai on Tuesday February 13th

  • To continue our ambitious programme, serum samples from patients with newly diagnosed Type 1 are still urgently needed

  • The success of the programme depends on you!

The Diabetes Autoantibody Standardization Programs (DASP), run in collaboration with CDC in Atlanta is the focus of IDS activities related to standardization of autoantibody measurement. The deadline for registration for the first round of the new format proficiency testing programme was in September. A total of 51 laboratories registered, 39 of which have returned results to date. A total of 100 samples were included - 50 samples from patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes and 50 controls. In addition participating laboratories received the the WHO international reference reagent for islet cell antibodies, GAD65 antibodies and IA-2 antibodies, together with diluent. Results will be analysed to provide the sensitivity and specificity for disease of each assay. For antibodies to GAD65 and IA-2, ranking of antibody levels based on local units will be compared with that based on units derived from the WHO standard curve to determine the best way to use the reference material. The data are currently being analysed in preparation for presentation at the IDS meeting in Chennai.

We would like to continue this programme with regular circulations of sera, as well as establishing a set of well-characterised samples for evaluation of new markers and assays. To do this we need a continuing supply of large volume samples from patients with newly diagnosed diabetes. We therefore help from all of you - without samples we cannot proceed! If you are able to supply samples please contact for instructions on sample handling etc.

An autoantibody workshop session will be held in Chennai on the morning of Tuesday February 13th. This session will include:

  • presentation and discussion of the results of the first round of the new format proficiency testing
  • report on the first workshop on autoantibodies in NOD mice
  • report of a workshop IgG subclass measurements of islet autoantibodies

Polly Bingley, Peter Colman, Desmond Schatz, Ezio Bonifacio