Responsibility and working method
The responsibility and working method as described below are applied to the following chapters: Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, Mumps, Measles, Rubella and Bordetalla Pertussis.
From 2022 onwards the method will be without the extensive literature search as described below. However guidelines (national and international) and systemic reviews (last 10 years) remain the basis of all chapters. When necessary, additional specific details from controlled trials and diagnostic papers will be incorporated and indicated in the references. All chapters will be reviewed by the working group.
Responsibility / liability
The website is based on actual literature and will be updated / adapted for new insights and guidelines. The Serology Education Foundation is the owner of the website and responsible for keeping the website up-to-date. All other scientific societies participating or using the website share the responsibilities and will inform the Serology Education Foundation as the principal responsible organisation about relevant developments in their expert disciplines.
The following is detailed for every pathogen specifically:
- Micro-organism and its clinical presentation
- Diagnostic testing
- Practical use of serology
- Interpretation of serology
- Sensitivity and specificity
Literature search and selection
For each pathogen on the website, a broad literature search was performed in 1 database (OVID/Medline) with a search strategy composed of a combination of 3 elements: set 1: pathogen, set 2: serology, immunoglobulins, set 3: diagnostics, prevention, prevalence, genetic variation.
In this way, the search ensures the most comprehensive yield possible from the available literature on the topics presented for each pathogen. This search strategy can be requested through the contact form.
The purpose of the search was to select the most recent evidence as the basis of the information presented on the website. The search was not intended to present a complete literature analysis evaluating all the evidence, or to make a full scientific review. The selection of evidence followed a methodical, multi-stage approach starting with systematic reviews (SR). If necessary, randomised controlled trials and diagnostic papers have been studied as the next step. If even then information was inadequate, observational studies were used to complete the chapters.
A first draft was written by experts in the field and at least one co-author, and the entire working group then reviewed the manuscript. Figures and tables were designed with a focus on serology.
Comments and authorisation phase
The draft texts were presented to all medical scientific societies for comments. Comments were collected and discussed in the working group, and if necessary the text was amended accordingly, and then concluded. The definitive text was then again presented to all societies and approved by the NVMM.
Conflicts and declarations of interest
The Code for conflict of interests was followed to prevent illegitimate manipulation. In the last three years, none of the members of the working group had any financial interests (commercial company position, research funding, personal financial interests) or indirect interests (personal relationships, reputation management) in the digital serology website. All working group members have confirmed this in writing. During the development of the website, changes in interests will be communicated to the chairman of the working group. In the comments and authorisation phase any conflict of interests will be reaffirmed.
The members of the working group have no conflicts of interest and written declarations from each member can be requested through the contact form of this website.