Chlamydia trachomatis, Fluorescence Staining of MicroTrak Slides
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common cause of sexually transmitted disease in developed countries. Chlamydia is recognized as a cause of cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometritis, perihepatitis, and urethral syndrome in females, nongonococcal urethritis, epididymitis, and proctitis in males. In females the infection is often asymptomatic; males are more frequently symptomatic. Transmission of Chlamydia trachomatis from pregnant females to infants is 1 of the major causes of infant pneumonia and conjunctivitis.
Because of the serious consequences associated with these infections, and the susceptibility of Chlamydia to antibiotics, laboratory diagnosis is important for the clinical management of patients. DNA-based assays are now available for the identification of Chlamydia trachomatis. However, these assays are currently not approved for use on all specimen types. The MicroTrak assay is an antibody-based method and is approved for use on rectal or nasopharyngeal specimens.
Detecting Chlamydia trachomatis in symptomatic or high-risk, asymptomatic females, and in symptomatic males
Detecting all 15 serotypes of Chlamydia trachomatis in endocervical, male urethral, conjunctival, rectal, and nasopharyngeal specimens
This assay is positive in approximately 90% of infected cases when adequate specimen is submitted. The sensitivity is reduced when the specimen demonstrates few columnar/cuboidal cells.
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
Ocular and nasopharyngeal specimens are the only acceptable sites that can be tested on infants and children. Rectal, conjunctival, and nasopharyngeal specimens should be collected only from symptomatic patients.
Vaginal specimens are inferior to endocervical swabs.
The MicroTrak slides are not useful for detecting Chlamydia psittaci or Chlamydia pneumoniae.
Negative results from specimens with <10 columnar/cuboidal cells should be interpreted with caution.
In populations with low disease prevalance (5% or less), a positive MicroTrak result should be interpreted with caution.
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
1. Groseclose SL, Zaidi AA, DeLisle SJ, et al: Estimated incidence and prevalence of genital Chlamydia trachomatis infections in the United States, 1996. Sex Transmit Dis 1999;26:339-344
2. Guaschino S, De Seta F: Update on Chlamydia trachomatis. Ann NY Acad Sci 2000;900:293-300