Direct-Smear Fluorescent Antibody Cytology as a Field Diagnostic Tool for Trachoma

Martha C. Wilson, Francisco Millan Velasco, James M. Tielsch, Hugh R. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A recently developed direct-smear fluorescent antibody (DFA) cytology method of detecting chlamydial infection was evaluated in an area where trachoma is endemic. Four hundred seventy-five children aged 2 to 10 years were examined, and adequate conjunctival cytology specimens were collected from 457 (96%). Trachomatous inflammatory changes were observed in 114 (25%) of the children. The DFA cytologic technique has a high specificity (100%) but a low sensitivity (8%). It offers a number of advantages over existing laboratory methods for diagnosing trachoma in the field. It is a rapid, simple, and easily transferred test that has a high specificity. Although DFA cytology shares the low sensitivity of other laboratory methods of diagnosing trachoma, we believe its logistical advantages make it the laboratory test of choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-690
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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