A new international standard reagent for the laboratory diagnosis of Toxoplasma infection, which was developed by Public Health Wales, has been approved by the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Biological Standardisation.

The new reagent was developed at the Public Health Wales Toxoplasma Reference Laboratory in partnership with the UK National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, and has been through rigorous international evaluation prior to achieving WHO approval.

‘The new Standard will support diagnostic laboratories across the world in standardising and optimising their laboratory tests for Toxoplasma infection,’ said Professor Edward Guy, Head of the Toxplasma Reference Unit, ‘particularly for individuals where this can be very severe or life-threatening, such as in unborn children, the immunosuppressed or immunodeficient.

‘”It will also strengthen population-based public health studies of disease incidence and prevalence around the world, and will be used by industry to develop better and more accurate tests.

‘Public Health Wales is in a strong position to continue to deliver such outputs due to our approach of combining clinical and scientific expertise in order to develop and provide world-leading diagnostic and clinical advice services to patients in the UK and across the world.’