Purpose: A new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (Amplicor, Diagnostics, Branchburg, NJ) was evaluated for its ability to detect chlamydial DNA from previously obtained adult conjunctival specimens.
Methods: The sensitivity of this PCR test was determined on 42 adult conjunctival specimens that were culture-positive for Chlamydia. The specificity was determined by testing 40 true-negative specimens that included 10 normal conjunctival samples and 20 ocular specimens that were culture-positive for herpes simplex virus or adenovirus. The remaining ten samples consisted of ocular bacterial pathogens in chlamydial transport media.
Results: Amplicor was 88% (37/42) sensitive and 100% (40/40) specific.
Conclusions: The authors conclude that PCR testing for chlamydial DNA from ocular specimens may be useful, especially when conditions in transport might reduce the yield of positive cultures.