Diagnostic tests and specimens used to screen for Chlamydia trachomatis in genitourinary medicine clinics in the United Kingdom

Int J STD AIDS. 1999 Aug;10(8):527-30.


This questionnaire study looked at the diagnostics tests and specimens used to screen for Chlamydia trachomatis in UK genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics. Replies were received from 70% (185/265) of clinics. Half used only one site to screen women. One-third took anal swabs from patients who had anal sex and 10% took oropharyngeal swabs from patients who had oral sex. Immunoassays were used to screen men for chlamydia in 86% of the clinics and women in 88%. Only 60% of male and 62% of female immunoassays were supplemented by a second test. Six per cent of clinics used molecular technique (MT) to screen men and 4% to screen women and 4% were trying to acquire it. Culture was not available to 58% of clinics. MT was not available to 81%, 89% of which was due to non provision locally and/or cost. Only 7% of clinicians thought that using MT for screening was unnecessary. There were significant differences in the availability of the technique between large academic and small clinics. A national review of GUM strategies to screen for C. trachomatis with adequate funding is urgently needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis*
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures* / economics
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures* / standards
  • Female
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Male Urogenital Diseases*
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Specimen Handling*
  • United Kingdom