Detection of seroconversion and persistence of Chlamydia trachomatis antibodies in five different serological tests

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2000 Dec;19(12):932-7. doi: 10.1007/s100960000397.


Microimmunofluorescence (MIF), a Chlamydia trachomatis species-specific enzyme immunoassay incorporating lipopolysaccharide-extracted Chlamydia trachomatis L2 elementary bodies, two different synthetic peptide-based species-specific tests, and a recombinant lipopolysaccharide genus-specific test were performed on multiple follow-up sera (n = 104 total) from 16 women with Chlamydia trachomatis-positive cervical swabs. These women included five with IgG seroconversions, five with Chlamydia trachomatis reinfections after initial therapy, and six with serologic follow-up of more than 6 years after antibiotic therapy. Of all the tests employed in this study, MIF IgG reverted earliest to negative titers, while MIF IgA was the least sensitive. The lipopolysaccharide-extracted elementary body enzyme immunoassay exhibited the closest correlation with the MIF test. The highest test sensitivity was observed in one of the synthetic peptide-based tests, which detected earliest seroconversions and longest IgG persistence. The other synthetic peptide-based test gave false-negative results in 2 of 16 women and did not detect seroconversion earlier than the MIF test. Seroconversion and persistence of genus-specific IgG--cross-reactivity with Chlamydia pneumoniae--against lipopolysaccharide were similar to species-specific IgG. A significant serologic response to reinfection was observed only in women with signs of pelvic inflammatory disease. Species-specific tests of high sensitivity and reproducibility are best suited for gynecological diagnostic purposes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Cervix Uteri / microbiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / growth & development
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / immunology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques / methods
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Recurrence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serologic Tests
  • Species Specificity


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Peptides