OBJECTIVE--The detection of acute phase antibodies against C trachomatis and its comparison with tissue culture or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on samples of cervix and urethra obtained from patients with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). METHODS--In the academic hospital Dijkzigt, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, prospective investigations were performed on 49 consecutive patients who were admitted with the diagnosis of PID. Infections with C trachomatis were traced using tissue culture, PCR or by determining acute phase IgG and IgM antibodies. Differences between the sensitivities of serology and tissue culture or PCR were calculated using the Fisher exact test. RESULTS--C trachomatis infection was detected more often in PID patients using serology in comparison with PCR (p < 0.05) or tissue culture (p < 0.05). All patients who were positive in tissue culture also had acute phase antibodies. CONCLUSION--The establishing of acute C trachomatis infections in PID patients on the basis of serology was superior to either tissue culture or PCR on samples obtained from cervix and urethra.
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