An enzyme immunoassay technique based on the direct detection of Chlamydia trachomatis antigen in urethral or cervical swabs was used for the rapid diagnosis of chlamydial genital infection. Urethral and cervical samples from 140 patients were tested in parallel by enzyme immunoassay and cell culture using iodine staining. The direct test had a sensitivity of 92.5% and specificity of 97.2% when compared with the cell culture system. The enzyme immunoassay technique provides a rapid and simple method for diagnosing chlamydial genital infection and may be performed on a large number of samples in laboratories which do not have tissue culture facilities or a trained microscopist.
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