Impact of variation in endocervical specimen collection and testing techniques on frequency of false-positive and false-negative Chlamydia detection results

Am J Clin Pathol. 1995 Nov;104(5):554-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/104.5.554.


Rapid tests for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis are considerably more likely to provide accurate, reliable results if high quality endocervical specimens containing large quantities of the pathogen are submitted for testing, and if laboratories routinely detect and confirm Chlamydia at levels below the test manufacturer's recommended cut-off using previously published, well-documented guidelines that have been verified by in-house testing. Routine or periodic microscopic analysis of endocervical specimen quality may be necessary both to ensure the adequacy of specimens and to help motivate personnel performing the specimen collection procedures. False-positive test results can be significantly reduced or eliminated by confirming positive results with the use of an independent assay. Clinical laboratories currently have the opportunity to substantially improve both the sensitivity and the specificity of many currently available rapid assays for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervix Uteri / microbiology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vaginal Smears / methods*
  • Vaginal Smears / standards*