The Observatory and Fast Facts

April 24, 2019
Clinical Virology Symposium

The 2019 American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Clinical Virology Symposium (CVS) is taking place May 5-8, at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, GA. The symposium will present the latest on microbiome-virome interactions, RNA sequencing for viral diagnosis, the challenges and opportunities for a universal influenza vaccine, and more.

The CVS 2019 Exhibit Hall will showcase 60 companies presenting the latest technology and advancements in clinical and diagnostic virology.

The Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (PASCV) will host the Molecular Virology Workshop, May 4, 2019, prior to the CVS. There is a separate registration fee for the PASCV workshop.

Pediatric intervals

AACC calls on Congress to fund CDC effort to improve pediatric medical testing. In a letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, AACC and 19 other major healthcare organizations urged Congress to provide funding so that the CDC can fill a crucial gap in children’s medical testing by developing accurate pediatric reference intervals. 

Healthcare providers depend on clinical lab test results to help them diagnose and determine the most effective treatments for children—especially when treating children who are too young to communicate their symptoms.

To correctly interpret pediatric lab test results, providers must evaluate results within the context of reference intervals, which are the range of normal test values expected in a healthy child. If a test result falls outside of the reference interval, this alerts the pediatrician that a child might have a condition requiring medical intervention. However, limited access to samples from healthy children has significantly hindered the establishment of accurate pediatric reference intervals. So, while reference intervals for adults are generally reliable, there is considerable inconsistency in the ranges provided for young patients. 

In order for pediatric patients to receive medical care on par with that of adults, it is imperative that reference intervals be developed that accurately reflect physical development from birth through adolescence to adulthood. To accomplish this, AACC requests that Congress provide CDC Environmental Health Laboratory with an additional $10 million in FY 2020 to initiate and coordinate this vital work.

The CDC Environmental Health Laboratory already has experience developing reference ranges for chronic disease biomarkers in adults, and with additional funding it could use its expertise to generate accurate pediatric reference intervals as well.

Furthermore, this funding will enable CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to obtain the samples from healthy children that the Environmental Health Laboratory will need for this initiative, and that other clinical labs and diagnostic manufacturers also need for their own crucial pediatric reference interval studies.

Serological testing

Serological testing plays critical role in helping diagnose patients with celiac disease. PerkinElmer announced that its EUROIMMUN Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) ELISA has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The test system is designed to help clinicians confirm or exclude a celiac disease diagnosis. 

People with celiac disease, who eat foods containing gluten, will have elevated levels of certain antibodies in their blood because gluten triggers a reaction from their immune system. These antibodies are directed against gluten and attack tTG, the body’s own gluten-processing enzyme, located in the small intestine—which is why they are considered the most important serological markers for celiac disease.

PerkinElmer’s EUROIMMUN anti-tTG ELISA helps clinical laboratories screen patients more accurately by determining and quantifying immunoglobulin class A (IgA) and class G (IgG) anti-tTG antibodies.

Celiac disease affects more than three million Americans but because it often manifests primarily as mild gastrointestinal or atypical symptoms, up to 97 percent go undiagnosed. Untreated celiac disease can lead to a number of other complications including fertility problems, reduced bone density, lymphoma, and nervous system disorders.


Please note a sentence was mistakenly omitted in the first paragraph of the March 2019 CE article, “Procalcitonin serial testing to inform treatment of sepsis.” View the updated version, here: