Goal of this study: The Amplicor polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis (Roche Molecular Systems, Branchburg, NJ) was evaluated on conjunctival, pharyngeal, and urethral swabs.
Study design: A total of 515 conjunctival, pharyngeal, and urethral swabs. The reference system was culture with McCoy cells in shell vials with fluorescent immunostaining. One swab was used for both cell culture and the molecular assay. Initial storage took place in 2-SP medium. After transfer to Amplicor specimen transport medium the molecular assay was done using the Amplicor Chlamydia trachomatis amplification and detection kits.
Results: The total positive rate was 6.6%. Specificity of culture was 100%. The evaluated molecular assay gave a specificity of 99.8%. Sensitivities of PCR and culture were 100% and 85.3%, respectively.
Conclusions: Because of the high sensitivity, specificity, and ease of use, the molecular assay was found to be a good alternative to culture for detection of C. trachomatis in conjunctival, pharyngeal, and urethral specimens.