A rapid and sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in cervical specimens is described. This assay consists of (i) sample preparation which avoids the use of heat, centrifugation, or organic extractions; (ii) rapid, two-temperature PCR amplification of C. trachomatis cryptic plasmid sequences; and (iii) capture and colorimetric detection of amplified DNA in microwell plates. PCR was compared with culture by using 503 cervical specimens. After resolution of discrepant specimens with a confirmatory PCR assay directed against the chlamydial major outer membrane protein gene, PCR had a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 99.7% while culture had a sensitivity of 85.7% and a specificity of 100%. In a separate study, PCR was compared with a direct specimen enzyme immunoassay (Chlamydiazyme; Abbott Diagnostics) by using 375 cervical specimens. After resolution of discrepant specimens, PCR had a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, while the enzyme immunoassay had a sensitivity of 58.8% and a specificity of 100%.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)