Nucleic acid amplification testing is a highly sensitive method of analyzing samples for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and is now the recommended route for greater accuracy and congruency in general. So too is the source of our sampling, i.e, and for example, cervical swabs in women versus vaginal swabs versus urine samples. With varying methods of analyses in practice for the common chlamydia test and other STI tests, it is thought now that we might be shooting ourselves in the foot when it comes to really cracking down on infections like chlamydia and stopping the spread in its tracks, simple because we don’t truly know enough about the load of the infection, ie, the amount of infection present.
Recent studies have shown that the load of chlamydia infection detected in a sample varies depending on where a sample is collected and the type of sample it is. The Journal of Infections publishes a study based on the importance of finding a more uniform way of analyzing the amount of infection present in a sample in order to establish just how load value impacts upon increasing infection rates, treatment failures and ascending infection.
The researchers based their study on data collected on 40,888 participants and found that among women, the greatest load of infection was found in cervical swabs. The lesser amount was found in urine samples. They therefore suggest that specimen type and where samples are collected should be congruent across the board when it comes to the regular chlamydia test for example.
The nucleic acid test has been lauded as being better for the detecting of chlamydia nucleic acid in particular and it is this form of analysis is being undertaken in many laboratories but there is yet no one way of collecting samples or analyzing them. Studies like these highlight the importance of regulating STI testing and making it more uniform. If we understand more about load and collect samples from the same site from clinic to clinic, we will eventually understand more about reinfection and hiking rates.
Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing is available online for Chlamydia in the UK. Testing can be organised for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea the www.theGUMclinic.com
Further study will be done to highlight the importance of this congruent testing practice.