Microbiological reference material (bacterial and fungal domains): Definition, production rules, use and need for establishment in Brazil
Abstract Reference materials are crucial for laboratory quality assurance. They are widely used for the internal quality control of analytical tests, in the validation of methodologies and as test items in proficiency tests. Microbiological reference materials are represented mainly by reference strains, whose use in laboratory internal quality control is unquestionable and recommended by several microbiological manuals. In Brazil, the practice of producing microbiological reference materials has advanced in recent years in the development of specific materials for proficiency testing. However, the same did not occur with the establishment of reference strains due to a lack of incentive policies, maintaining the country dependant on the use of international reference strains. This article aims to emphasize the importance of the use of microbiological reference materials in laboratory quality control and discuss the need for the development of such materials in Brazil. The paper presents a brief explanation of microbiological reference materials and points out questions concerning the country’s dependence on the acquisition of international biological materials. It also describes quality standards related to the production of these materials and the situation of culture collections and Brazilian reference laboratories that supply reference strains. The study also mentions practical recommendations on the subcultures of reference strains.