AESKU is introducing a new Immunofluorescence Assay (IFA) Quality Control product line – AESQC IFA – that complies with International Consensus on Antinuclear Antibody Patterns (ICAP) nomenclature.
QCs in IFA are not only important as part of assay quality management, but now as IFA readers are becoming standard devices in laboratories, assuring their ability to read patterns in a standardized manner has also become important.
The AESQC IFA product line allows laboratories to compare IFA reader performance to a set of controls validated and standardized to the ICAP nomenclature. Read more...
To mark the product launch, we interviewed Dr. Ed. Chan, Professor in the department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Florida. An alumnus of Dr. Eng Tan’s lab, Chan’s research focuses on autoantigens and autoantibodies associated with systemic autoimmune diseases and cancer. “Our goal is to ensure the measurement of autoantibodies remains accurate and useful for clinicians to help them make their diagnosis.”
Chan has served on the Autoantibody Standardization Committee (ASC) executive committee for about 10 years and became ASC committee chair 3 years ago. “We started the ICAP initiative in 2014 and it has been so successful that we have translated the website into seven additional languages.”
ICAP terminology is intended to help standardize pattern interpretation across the international community, so someone who may have a different way to describe a particular pattern can simply use the alphanumerical code: AC (Anti-Cell) 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Example images of each pattern are posted on the ICAP website: www.anapatterns.org.
“We now have a better description in terms of clinical relevance for each of these patterns, if the antibody is confirmed by follow-up assays. This will be useful for clinicians across different countries to have a common understanding on how this antibody would be useful for diagnosis.” Says Chan.
“There are still a lot of things we plan to do. Many patients have multiple antibodies, so the description of the results may be more complex. We will begin to address some common mixed patterns that would be clinically useful for physicians and may have clinical relevance.”
Chan thinks manufacturers are open to discuss and participate in standardization efforts. “This type of interaction with academic, researcher, standardization committee helps keep an open dialogue, and I think in the long run will continue to improve the process. Ultimately, I think everybody would like to see that the autoantibody assay maintains clinical relevance in helping with diagnosis and potentially even treatment of patients. Incorporating Artificial Intelligence will help in the future to make reading of ANA more standardized.”
AESKU looks forward to supporting globally adoption of the consensus and considers the ‘Anti-Cell’ nomenclature especially important, as clinically significant non-nuclear anti-cellular antibodies often go unreported by laboratories due to their not being specifically requested by ordering physicians. Adoption of this nomenclature will not only simplify statistical reporting in the AESQC website but improve the quality of care delivered to patients everywhere.