Electron microscopy of many spirochetes

Proficiency Testing

International Proficiency Testing Scheme for the Leptospirosis MAT

The International Proficiency Testing Scheme for the Leptospirosis MAT is provided by collaborators in Amsterdam and Melbourne, on behalf of ILS.

The objectives of the scheme are (a) to provide participants with information about the quality of their MAT testing, as an aid to improved performance, and (b) to encourage a general improvement in the performance of MAT testing and in leptospirosis diagnosis throughout the world.

Panels of 5 samples have been sent to participants approximately annually since 2002. After the closing date for results, participants receive an emailed preliminary report, identifying the samples. Later they receive a final report, comparing and analysing results from different laboratories.


Any laboratory performing the MAT may participate in the scheme. Approximately 100 laboratories from about 45 countries participate.

Round 21 is planned for mid-October 2024.

  • The cost of participating in Round 21 has been kept unchanged, except for one small adjustment required because of the movements of currencies.
  • The general cost of participating in Round 21 (2024) will be: $ Australian 390, or $ US 280, or Euro 260 or GBP 220. Participants may ask to be invoiced in any of these currencies, or in a different currency. They may either pay by bank transfer in the currency of their invoice, or pay the $ Australian figure by credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Paying by credit card, which is preferred, represented a discount of about 9% when these costs were set.
  • The Round 21 cost for participants working in resource-poor environments will be $ US 140 or $ Australian 195. The concessional charge applies only to non-commercial laboratories from countries classed by World Bank as Low Income or Lower-Middle Income. A list of the World Bank classifications can be found HERE.

Laboratories wishing to participate in Round 21 should contact Roderick Chappel at ilspt@ozemail.com.au by 31 August 2024. Laboratories wishing to participate should nominate the currency in which they wish to be invoiced.

Please note the following:

  • Laboratories that have submitted results for Round 20, and paid the Round 20 invoice, will be automatically listed for Round 20 unless they advise otherwise;
  • Only one set of results will be accepted for one laboratory ID.

Enquiries and comments relating to the scheme can be directed to Hans van der Linden at the Leptospirosis Reference Laboratory, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam (lepto@amc.nl) or Roderick Chappel at Trenoweth Consulting in Melbourne (ilspt@ozemail.com.au).


Chappel, R.J., Goris, M., Palmer, R.F. and Hartskeerl, R.A. (2004) Impact of proficiency testing on results of the microscopic agglutination test for diagnosis of leptospirosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 42:5484-5488.