Role of confirmatory PCRs in determining performance of Chlamydia Amplicor PCR with endocervical specimens from women with a low prevalence of infection.
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The role of confirmatory PCR assays for determining the performance of Chlamydia Amplicor PCR for endocervical specimens from women with a low prevalence of infection was evaluated. An endocervical swab was collected from 770 women and tested by culture or direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) staining. A second swab was tested by Chlamydia Amplicor PCR (Roche Molecular Systems, Branchburg, N.J.). Discordant results were resolved by three confirmatory PCRs: one targeting the plasmid by using different primers and two directed to the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) gene. Of the 30 swabs that were positive by culture or DFA (3.9%), 27 were positive by Amplicor PCR. An additional five swabs were positive by Amplicor PCR but negative by culture or DFA. Both plasmid and MOMP confirmatory PCRs identified the five culture-DFA negatives and the three Amplicor negatives as true positives. The three specimens originally classified as negative by Amplicor PCR were positive on repeat Amplicor testing. After resolution of the discordant results by confirmatory PCR testing, the sensitivity of the initial Amplicor PCR was 91.4% (32 of 35 specimens), changing to 100% after storage and repeat testing. The specificity of Amplicor PCR was 100% (735 of 735 specimens). Our results demonstrated that plasmid and MOMP confirmatory PCRs worked equally well in resolving false-positive and false-negative Amplicor PCR results. Some specimens may contain inhibitors of Amplicor PCR which may disappear with time.
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