Framework for laboratory harmonization of folate measurements in low‐ and middle‐income countries and regions

Framework for laboratory harmonization of folate measurements in low‐ and middle‐income... The measurement of serum and red blood cell folate, two commonly used biomarkers of folate status in populations, is complicated by analytical and data interpretation challenges. Folate results show poor comparability across laboratories, even using the same analytical technique. The folate microbiologic assay produces accurate results and requires simple instrumentation. Thus, it could be set up and maintained in low‐ and middle‐income country laboratories. However, the assay has to be harmonized through the use of common critical reagents (e.g., microorganism and folate calibrator) in order to produce comparable results across laboratories and over time, so that the same cutoff values can be applied across surveys. There is a limited need for blood folate measurements in a country owing to the periodic nature of surveys. Having a network of regional resource laboratories proficient in conducting the folate microbiologic assay and willing and able to perform service work for other countries will be the most efficient way to create an infrastructure wherein qualified laboratories produce reliable blood folate data. Continuous participation of these laboratories in a certification program can verify and document their proficiency. If the resource laboratories conduct the work on a fee‐for‐service basis, they could become self‐sustaining in the long run. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Wiley

Framework for laboratory harmonization of folate measurements in low‐ and middle‐income countries and regions

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2018 The New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN
0077-8923
eISSN
1749-6632
D.O.I.
10.1111/nyas.13532
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The measurement of serum and red blood cell folate, two commonly used biomarkers of folate status in populations, is complicated by analytical and data interpretation challenges. Folate results show poor comparability across laboratories, even using the same analytical technique. The folate microbiologic assay produces accurate results and requires simple instrumentation. Thus, it could be set up and maintained in low‐ and middle‐income country laboratories. However, the assay has to be harmonized through the use of common critical reagents (e.g., microorganism and folate calibrator) in order to produce comparable results across laboratories and over time, so that the same cutoff values can be applied across surveys. There is a limited need for blood folate measurements in a country owing to the periodic nature of surveys. Having a network of regional resource laboratories proficient in conducting the folate microbiologic assay and willing and able to perform service work for other countries will be the most efficient way to create an infrastructure wherein qualified laboratories produce reliable blood folate data. Continuous participation of these laboratories in a certification program can verify and document their proficiency. If the resource laboratories conduct the work on a fee‐for‐service basis, they could become self‐sustaining in the long run.

Journal

Annals of the New York Academy of SciencesWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;

References

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