Diagnosis of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Genitourinary infections in males by the Amplicor PCR assay of urine

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 1999 Mar;33(3):141-6. doi: 10.1016/s0732-8893(98)00123-0.


The Amplicor CT/NG polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on urine specimens from males was prospectively evaluated against established specimens and laboratory methods for diagnosing Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae genitourinary infections, in patients from a remote region of Western Australia. Seventy-three males who were tested for both C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae by both conventional methodology and Amplicor PCR on urine were enrolled in the study. Established testing comprised enzyme immunoassay/immunofluorescence antigen testing (EIA/IF) for C. trachomatis and microscopy and/or culture for N. gonorrhoeae on urethral swabs. Positive test results were confirmed using a set of criteria that included supplemental PCR testing and clinical history. Overall, 13.7% of patients were resolved as positive for C. trachomatis and 52.1% as positive for N. gonorrhoeae. The sensitivity and specificity of the Amplicor CT/NG PCR on male urine specimens for C. trachomatis were 80.0% (8/10) and 95.2% (60/63), compared with 60.0% (6/10) and 100.0% (63/63) for EIA/IF on urethral swabs. For N. gonorrhoeae, the sensitivity and specificity of the Amplicor CT/NG PCR on male urine specimens were both 100% (38/38 and 35/35, respectively) compared with 86.8% (33/38) and 100% (35/35) for microscopy and/or culture on urethral swabs. The results of this study indicate that the Amplicor CT/NG multiplex PCR test for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae performed on urine in males provides a highly sensitive, specific, and robust method for the diagnosis of both C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae, for the early detection of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected individuals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Gonorrhea / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Male Urogenital Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Male Urogenital Diseases / microbiology
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urethra / microbiology
  • Urine / microbiology*


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic