Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis DNA in joints of reactive arthritis patients by polymerase chain reaction

Lancet. 1992 Jul 11;340(8811):81-2. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(92)90399-n.


In 1986, Chlamydia trachomatis elementary bodies were found by direct immunofluorescence (DIF) in synovial-fluid cell deposits and synovial-membrane biopsy samples from five of eight patients with sexually acquired reactive arthritis (SARA) but in none of eight controls with other types of arthritis. Cells from the original slides (stored at 4 degrees C) have now been examined by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that amplifies DNA for the major outer membrane protein of C trachomatis. Chlamydial DNA was found in samples from four DIF-positive patients, one DIF-negative patient, and one DIF-negative control. Overall, there was 80% concordance for DIF and PCR results. This study supports our previous finding of chlamydiae in joints in reactive arthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Reactive / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Reactive / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Reactive / microbiology*
  • Biopsy
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / standards
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / standards*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serotyping
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / microbiology*
  • Synovial Fluid / chemistry
  • Synovial Fluid / microbiology


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G