Evaluation of the polymerase chain reaction test for detecting chlamydial DNA in adult chlamydial conjunctivitis

Ophthalmology. 1995 Jul;102(7):1016-9. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(95)30919-0.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / diagnosis
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / genetics*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • Conjunctiva / microbiology
  • Conjunctivitis, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Conjunctivitis, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Conjunctivitis, Viral / diagnosis
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Herpes Simplex / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Bacterial