A rapid serodiagnostic test for the presumptive diagnosis of chlamydial infection of the cervix has been developed. The method used in based on the modified micro-immunofluorescence test using pooled chlamydial antigens and the detection of different immunoglobulin classes of chlamydial antibody in sera and cervical secretions. The presence of IgG chlamydial antibody at a level of 1/64, or IgM antibody at a level of 1/8 or greater, or both in sera and IgG or IgA antibody at a level of 1/8 or more or both in cervical secretions was closely associated with the isolation of Chlamydia trachomatis and non-specific genital infection. In general, serodiagnosis was three to nine times more sensitive than cultural methods, and the detection of IgG chlamydial antibody in cervical secretions alone provided the most sensitive of the serological tests. This sensitive, low-cost, rapid, and simple serodiagnostic test for the presumptive diagnosis of chlamydial infection of the cervix, coupled with transportation of specimens by post, offers advantages over conventional isolation techniques for the routine diagnosis and management of chlamydial genital infections.
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