In 2006, a new variant of Chlamydia trachomatis (nvCT) was discovered in Sweden that was not detectable with Abbott m2000 (Abbott) and Amplicor/COBAS Amplicor/TaqMan48 (Roche). The proportion of nvCT was 20-64% of the detected Chlamydia cases in counties using Abbott/Roche test systems. Although the ProbeTec system from Becton Dickinson (BD) could detect nvCT, the proportion of nvCT in counties using BD was 7-19%. The objective of the current study was to follow the nvCT proportions from 2007 to 2009 in two counties that used Roche and had introduced test systems able to detect nvCT in late 2006. The nvCT was also followed in two counties that used BD, and in all four counties the effect of nvCT on the serotype distribution of C. trachomatis wild-type strains was analysed. A total of 2576 specimens positive for C. trachomatis were collected in the four counties at three time points, and analysed for nvCT and serotype E. The proportion of nvCT declined significantly in the two counties using Roche, from 65% and 48% in 2007 to 24% for both counties in 2009 (p <0.001). The nvCT proportion increased in Norrbotten county, which used BD, from 9% in 2007 to 19% in 2009 (p 0.03). In Uppsala county, which also used BD but was surrounded by counties using detection systems from Roche, the proportion of nvCT declined from 24% in 2007 to 18% in 2009 (p <0.03). No major difference in the level of serotype E was seen. The proportion of nvCT seems to rapidly converge in the Swedish counties after the selective diagnostic advantage for nvCT has been lost in the Abbott/Roche counties.
© 2010 The Authors. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2010 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.