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Founding members of the Complement Analysis Standardization Committee 2009 Budapest (from L to R): János Szebeni, Tom E. Mollnes, Zoltán Prohászka, Michael Kirschfink, Sakari T. Jokiranta, Patricia Giclas, Hans Reinauer, Lilian Varga, Moh Daha, Peter F. Zipfel, Michael K. Pangurn, Francesco Tedesco, George Füst, Bo Nilsson, Paul Morgan


At the 2008 International Complement Workshop in Basel, Switzerland, a group of interested members of the International Complement Society (ICS) met to discuss the formation of a standardization committee and to define the major aims of this quality management initiative.  In 2010, the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) established the initiative officially as Subcommittee for the Standardization of Complement Analysis.

The Committee with its associated laboratories aims to:

  • Continue and strengthen the complement external quality assurance program to improve the performance of diagnostic complement laboratories
  • Develop and standards standard materials for complement analysis and to make these available to the scientific, diagnostic and clinical communities
    • Define standardized methods of modern complement analysis
    • Organize national and international workshops and training courses on modern complement analysis
    • Develop guidelines for a high-quality standardized complement analysis

In the past 12 years, eighteen (18) complement external quality assurance (EQA) programs have been conducted with the help of INSTAND e.V. (Düsseldorf, Germany), a WHO accredited institution for quality control in laboratory analysis. Zoltán Prohászka has provided the EQA samples for this program and serves currently as Complement Program Director at INSTAND, with Michael Kirschfink as Co-Director. 

In 2020 and 2021, 200-220 laboratories from more than 30 countries participated in the full program (determination of 20 complement parameters including multiple autoantibodies and activation products).

The Standardization Committee organized presentations and discussions for the EQA participants and interested parties during the European and International Complement Meetings in the past years. However, due to the Corona virus pandemic, a detailed analysis of the data could not be presented on the occasion of the International Complement Workshop (ICW) in 2021 (fully online) and at the 18th European Meeting on Complement in Human Diseases (2022, Bern). For the next ICW, to be held in Newcastle, UK, in 2023, a detailed presentation of the past 5 years’ results, with trend analysis of the changes, is planned.

Structure, Aims and Tasks

The Committee is free and open to join, with recent mails and newsletters we invited colleagues who are actively involved in complement diagnostics and would like to make a contribution to the work of the Committee to send a short statement of interest (max 1 A4) introducing themselves and their work in complement diagnostics. Furthermore, a call went out to members of the International Complement Society to send nominations for the elections of new chairs for the Complement Standardization Committee. Based on the nominations the co-chairs of the Committee were reinforced during the International Complement Workshop in December 2021.

To better enable collaborations with industry aiming at to improve the quality of commercial complement tests recently, a Policy for Interactions with Industry/Vendors  has been developed by the board of the International Complement Society (ICS).

The activities of the Complement Standardization Committee have also been presented within various lectures to online meetings:

  1. German Society of Immunology (DGfI) Complement working group (September 2020);
  2. Meeting “Primary Immunodeficiencies in Children and Adults: Infections in the Spotlight”, Moscow, Russia (April 2021);
  3. The recent congress of the Latin American Society of Immunodeficiencies (LASID), Santiago de Chile, Chile (October 2021)
  4. The 59th Meeting of the Japanese Association for Complement Research, Hokkaido, Japan (August 2022).


The following manuscripts on, or including the issue of complement standardization and quality control have been published recently:

Frazer-Abel A, Kirschfink M, Prohászka Z. Expanding Horizons in Complement Analysis and Quality Control. Front Immunol. 2021 Aug 9;12:697313. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.697313. eCollection 2021. PMID: 34434189

Willrich MAV, Braun KMP, Moyer AM, Jeffrey DH, Frazer-Abel A. Complement testing in the clinical laboratory. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2021 Nov;58(7):447-478. doi: 10.1080/10408363.2021.1907297.

Prohászka Z, Frazer-Abel A. Complement multiplex testing: Concept, promises and pitfalls. Mol Immunol. 2021 Oct 22;140:120-126. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2021.10.006.

Participants of the 2nd Strategy Workshop on Complement Analysis Standardization, 2016 Budapest (left)

2nd Strategy Workshop on Complement Analysis Standardization (above)


Complement...we are the experts!

ICS promotes advances of complement research and development through the encouragement of cooperative educational programs, clinical applications, and professional standards in the complement field.
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