How is chlamydia diagnosed?
Only a professional healthcare provider can diagnose chlamydia. There are laboratory tests to diagnose the disease, which involve getting a sample from an infected site or a urine test. A Pap test is not a suitable test for chlamydia.
The chlamydia tests involve Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), which includes:
- polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
- transcription mediated amplification (TMA).
- the DNA strand displacement assay (SDA).
The most commonly used chlamydia NAATs in the US are:
- Aptima (Gen-Probe).
- Probe-Tec (Becton-Dickinson).
- Amplicor (Roche).
NAAT for chlamydia may be performed on swab specimens collected from the cervix, urethra or on voided urine. The Aptima test may give reliable results on rectal specimens.
Pace II (Gen-Probe) is relatively insensitive, successfully detecting only 60-80% of infections in asymptomatic women, and often giving falsely positive results. It is currently the only assay approved for testing non-genital specimens.
Who should get tested for chlamydia?
This is a list of potential candidates for chlamydia testing:
- All sexually active females under 25 should be tested once a year.
- Women older than 25 who have new or multiple sex partners who have new or multiple sex partners.
- Women older than 25 who have sex with someone who has other sex partners.
Women and men who do not use condom protection within a relationship that is not mutually monogamous