What did we achieve with VALITEST an EU project on validation in plant pest diagnostics?

Charlotte Trontin, Barbara Agstner, Denise Altenbach, Geraldine Anthoine, Hanna Baginska, Ian Brittain, Aude Chabirand, Anne-Marie Chappé, Paul Dahlin, Tanja Dreo, Caroline Freye, Camilo Gianinazzi, Catherine Harrison, Glyn Jones, Marco Stefan Kaiser, Marta Luigi, Sebastien Massart, Natasa Mehle, Monica Mezzalama, Hanna MouazizMaja Ravnikar, Tom Raaymakers, Jean-Philippe Renvoisé, Mathieu Rolland, Marta Santos-Paiva, Sam Seddas, Rene A. van der Vlugt, Ana Vučurović, Françoise Petter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Ensuring the reliability of diagnostic activities is an essential cornerstone of Plant Health strategies to reduce the risk of entry and spread of plant pests in a region and ultimately their impacts. Diagnostic tests should be validated to ensure that they are fit for purpose. Validation is usually done by diagnostic laboratories although companies commercializing diagnostic kits also produce validation data for their products. Due to the high number of pest , matrix and method combinations and given the significant resources required to validate tests, it is essential that validation data are shared with the entire diagnostic community and produced in a harmonized way to facilitate their use by different stakeholders. Indeed, the selection of tests to be used in specific contexts is not the sole responsibility of diagnostic laboratories and also involve National Plant Protection Organizations. The VALITEST EU project (2018-2021) was established to tackle all these issues. New validation data for tests targeting important pests for the EPPO region were produced. Guidelines to improve and harmonize the validation framework were developed. Sharing of validation data and experience was ensured through the development of new or existing databases, the organization of training courses and the dissemination of the project outputs in scientific publications and Standards. Finally, the involvement of researchers, diagnosticians, policy makers, inspectors, industries etc. and the establishment of the European Plant Diagnostic Industry Association were important actions to strengthen the interactions between Plant Health stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Issue number1
Early online date23 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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