College of American Pathologists

  CAP Laboratories Alerted
  to Destroy an Influenza A
  Specimen Included in Some
  Proficiency Testing Kits




Published on: April 13, 2005

On April 8, the CAP was alerted that a potentially hazardous influenza A specimen, H2N2, which was provided by a CAP contractor, Meridian Bioscience, was shipped in the second half of 2004 and early 2005 to laboratories enrolled in CAP proficiency testing (PT) programs.

CAP immediately notified 3,747 proficiency testing laboratory customers who received the samples to destroy them immediately and to report back to the College on that action.

Although the risk to laboratory workers and the general population is low, the College is continuing to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the public health community to ensure all samples are destroyed in a proper manner and that this event is not repeated.

Meridian manufactured the specimens on behalf of the College and three other PT providers: the Medical Lab Evaluators, the American Association of Bioanalysts, and the American Association of Family Practitioners. At the time the influenza A specimen was provided, Meridian understood that the specimen was still a Biohazard Safety Level 2.

It is against CAP policy to use micro-organisms or other materials associated with a risk of potentially causing harm in its proficiency testing products, and the CAP is working with the CDC and College contractors to ensure that all CAP PT products meet that standard.

For more information, contact the CAP Communications Department.