Sampling for Chlamydia trachomatis infection - a comparison of vaginal, first-catch urine, combined vaginal and first-catch urine and endocervical sampling

Int J STD AIDS. 2010 Apr;21(4):283-7. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2009.009440.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the sensitivity of patients' self-sampled vaginal specimens, first-catch urine (FCU), combined vaginal/FCU specimens and endocervical specimens for detecting chlamydial infection in women. Women attending sexually transmitted disease clinics, youth clinics and a women's health clinic were enrolled. They self-collected a vaginal specimen with two swabs, which were placed into a sterile tube and into a tube containing a buffer medium, respectively. An FCU sample was collected and aliquoted into both an empty tube and the tube containing the vaginal swab. A clinician collected an endocervical swab. The samples were sent to laboratories for analysis using polymerase chain reaction testing and strand displacement amplification testing, respectively. The sensitivities calculated in all 171 Chlamydia trachomatis-infected women were equal for endocervical specimens (97.1%), vaginal specimens (96.5%) and combined vaginal/FCU specimens (95.3%), whereas the sensitivity for FCU was significantly lower (87.7%). The sensitivity of vaginal specimens for the detection of C. trachomatis is as high as that of combined vaginal/FCU specimens.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cervix Uteri / microbiology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / urine
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / genetics
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
  • Self Care*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vaginal Smears / methods*
  • Young Adult