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Evaluation of a new amplified enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in male urine, female endocervical swab, and patient obtained vaginal swab specimens


Aims—To compare the performance of a new generation dual amplified enzyme immunoassay (EIA) with a molecular method for the diagnosis of Chlamydia trachomatis, using a range of urogenital samples, and to assess the reliability of testing self collected vaginal specimens compared with clinician collected vaginal specimens.

Methods—Two population groups were tested. For the first population group, first void urine samples were collected from 193 male patients with urethritis, and endocervical swabs were collected from 187 high risk commercial sex workers. All urine and endocervical specimens were tested by a conventional assay (IDEIA chlamydia), a new generation amplified immunoassay (IDEIA PCE chlamydia), and the Amplicor polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Discrepant results obtained among the three sample types were confirmed using a nested PCR test with a different plasmid target region. For the second population group, four swab specimens, including one patient obtained vaginal swab, two clinician obtained endocervical swabs, and one clinician obtained vaginal swab, were collected from 91 high risk sex workers. Self collected and clinician collected vaginal swabs were tested by IDEIA PCE chlamydia. Clinician obtained endocervical swabs were assayed by IDEIA PCE chlamydia and Amplicor PCR.

Results—The performance of the IDEIA PCE chlamydia test was comparable to that of the Amplicor PCR test when male urine and female endocervical swab specimens were analysed. The relative sensitivities of IDEIA, IDEIA PCE, and Amplicor PCR on male first void urine specimens were 79.3%, 91.4%, and 100%, respectively. The relative sensitivities of the three tests on female endocervical specimens were 85.0%, 95.0%, and 100%, respectively. The positivity rates for patient collected vaginal specimens and clinician collected vaginal specimens by IDEIA PCE were 25.2% and 23.1%, respectively, whereas those for clinician collected endocervical swabs by PCR and IDEIA PCE were both 27.5%.

Conclusions—IDEIA PCE chlamydia is a lower cost but sensitive alternative test to PCR for testing male urine samples and female endocervical swabs. In addition, self collected or clinician collected vaginal specimens tested by IDEIA PCE chlamydia are a reliable alternative to analysing endocervical specimens.

  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • enzyme immunoassay
  • clinical specimens

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