Point of care diagnostics for sexually transmitted infections: perspectives and advances

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2014 Jun;12(6):657-72. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2014.880651. Epub 2014 Feb 3.


Accurate and inexpensive point-of-care (POC) tests are urgently needed to control sexually transmitted infection epidemics, so that patients can receive immediate diagnoses and treatment. Current POC assays for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae perform inadequately and require better assays. Diagnostics for Trichomonas vaginalis rely on wet preparation, with some notable advances. Serological POC assays for syphilis can impact resource-poor settings, with many assays available, but only one available in the U.S. HIV POC diagnostics demonstrate the best performance, with excellent assays available. There is a rapid assay for HSV lesion detection; but no POC serological assays are available. Despite the inadequacy of POC assays for treatable bacterial infections, application of technological advances offers the promise of advancing POC diagnostics for all sexually transmitted infections.

Keywords: Chlamydia trachomatis; HIV; HSV-2; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; PCR; Trichomonas vaginalis; point-of-care diagnostics; resource-limited settings; serology; syphilis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis
  • HIV / isolation & purification
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Syphilis / diagnosis
  • Treponema pallidum / isolation & purification
  • Trichomonas Vaginitis / diagnosis
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification