Orogenital sex is recognized as a route for the transmission of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) which thus causes male chlamydial urethritis. Patients with a pharyngeal CT infection have no gross lesions, but CT was tested by pharyngeal swabs. In this study, the usefulness of oral wash specimens for detecting CT was compared to that of swab specimens. In addition, oral wash specimens were also used to screen for CT pharyngeal infection. Eighteen female commercial sex workers in whom CT was detected from pharyngeal swabs were re-examined using both methods. The positive rate for CT was 44% by swabs and 61% by oral wash specimens. Forty-eight male students with CT-positive urine were also screened for pharyngeal CT infection. The positive rates were 6% by swabs and 10% by oral wash specimens. Our findings therefore indicate that oral wash specimens more effectively detected pharyngeal CT infection than pharyngeal swabs.