Chlamydia trachomatis detection

Last updated: Monday, 06, August, 2007

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Item Process
Specimen

Genital swab, conjunctival swab, endotracheal aspirate (neonates), placed in transport medium and/or smeared directly onto slide.

For nucleic acid probe after amplification, consult laboratory. Some assays use a dry swab while for others the swab must be discarded after special transport has been inoculated.

Initial urine specimens are an alternative to genital swabs for both males and females.

Method

Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis by culture, nucleic acid probe after amplification.

Application

Urethritis, cervicitis; conjunctivitis.

Pneumonia in the first 6 months of life.

Interpretation

Culture and nucleic acid probe (after amplification) are more sensitive techniques than DFA and EIA.

Nucleic acid probe after amplification has replaced DFA and EIA and can be performed on initial (not mid-stream) urine specimens as an alternative to collection of a genital swab.

For test-of-cure in cases of genital infection, specimens should not be collected until at least three weeks after completion of antibiotic treatment. A first-void urine is adequate for this purpose.

Reference

Black CM. Clin Microbial Rev 1997; 10: 160-184.