Comparison of three nucleic acid amplification tests for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in urine specimens

Charlotte A. Gaydos, Mellisa Theodore, Nicholas Dalesio, Billie Jo Wood, Thomas C. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Traditionally, culture and immunoassays have been performed for the detection of sexually transmitted diseases, including Chlamydia trachomatis. However, these assays may often require invasive specimen collection methods, such as female cervical and male urethral swabs. Recently, nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) have been approved for testing for the presence of C. trachomatis in urine samples. Our objective was to compare the sensitivities and specificities of C. trachomatis detection in urine samples with three NAATs: the Abbott LCx (LCx), BD ProbeTec ET (ProbeTec), and Gen-Probe APTIMA Combo 2 (AC2). Urine specimens (n = 506) were collected from both symptomatic and asymptomatic males and females from various high school health clinics. Specimens were tested for C. trachomatis with the three NAATs, and a true-positive result was defined as any two positive NAATs. The C. trachomatis prevalence was 14.8% (75 of 506 samples). Of the 75 urine samples defined as true positives, LCx detected 72, ProbeTec 72, and AC2 detected 75. The sensitivities of LCx, ProbeTec, and AC2 for C. trachomatis detection were 96.0, 96.0, and 100%, and the specificities were 99.1, 100, and 98.8%, respectively. Four of five samples that were positive with AC2 and negative with LCx and ProbeTec were found to be positive with an alternative target TMA-based NAAT, APTIMA C. trachomatis, suggesting that they may have been true positives. Two of four uniquely positive LCx samples available for subsequent testing were both found to be positive by Roche PCR. We found that the LCx, ProbeTec, and AC2 NAATs are highly sensitive and specific methods for the detection of C. trachomatis in urine specimens and can be recommended for noninvasive screening of C. trachomatis in urine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3041-3045
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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