Aims: To develop and evaluate multiplex PCR assays for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, using real-time and conventional PCR detection methodologies.
Methods: Two real-time multiplex PCR assays, using nuclease (TaqMan-ABI7500) and hybridisation (LightCycler) probe formats, and a third assay using conventional PCR with solid-phase hybridisation and colour detection, were developed. The porA pseudogene was targeted for N. gonorrhoeae, and the major outer membrane protein gene for C. trachomatis. A total of 145 urogenital specimens were tested in all assays, and the results were compared with the Roche Cobas Amplicor assay.
Results: There was little difference in clinical sensitivity and specificity, result discrimination and test cost for the three in-house assays. Our results showed that competitive inhibition of the PCR occurred in some samples that were positive for both organisms.
Conclusions: These results highlight the suitability and versatility of three multiplex PCR methods for the detection of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae.