The molecular diagnosis of lymphogranuloma venereum: evaluation of a real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction test using rectal and urethral specimens

Sex Transm Dis. 2007 Jul;34(7):451-5. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000245957.02939.ea.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the use of a real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction (M-PCR) assay to differentiate between trachoma and lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) biovars of Chlamydia trachomatis and to validate its performance with the conventional genotyping method.

Study: Swab specimens from 115 patients with anorectal symptoms or syndromes associated with LGV were tested by a real-time M-PCR assay and the results compared with the PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the major outer membrane protein gene (omp1).

Results: A high agreement of 96.5% (111 of 115 specimens) was found between the real-time M-PCR testing and the standard genotyping method for the detection of C. trachomatis DNA (kappa value, 0.945, P <0.00001). Both methods identified 53 LGV, 32 non-LGV C. trachomatis, and 26 negative specimens.

Conclusions: The real-time M-PCR assay simultaneously detects and differentiates LGV from non-LGV strains using swab specimens. This assay offers a relatively rapid and sensitive alternative for the diagnosis of LGV infection and is a useful tool for screening and for outbreak investigations.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia trachomatis / classification*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / genetics
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum / diagnosis*
  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum / microbiology
  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum / pathology
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Rectum / microbiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urethra / microbiology


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial