Introduction BASHH guidelines say ‘consider’ Throat swabs (TS)/rectal swabs (RS) in females where history suggests & to test in MSM. We were routinely testing females practicing fellatio & MSM on throat swabs (TS) for CT/GC in addition to the genital/rectal sites.
Aim To review testing practices to look at whether TS gave extra positivity & whether it was cost effective.
Method Retrospective extraction of data for all CT/GC TMA testing between 2011–2014, and analysis of selected records where TS & urogenital ± rectal sites sampled at the same visit.
ResultsCT was detected on TS from 1.2% of female (adding 8 extra cases), and from 0.76% of MSM (adding no extra cases)GC was detected on TS from 0.76% of females (adding 9 extra cases), and from 3.0% of males (adding 3 extra cases) In a sub-set of 251 females who had RS, GC was detected on TS from 3.6% adding 5 extra cases to the 4 urogenital/rectal diagnoses.
Conclusions In diagnosis of CT infection, TS find only a few extra male & female cases For GC infection TS did increase thenumber of diagnoses (females from 12 to 21, males from 17to 20). Whilst GC testing by TMA adds no cost to a genital sample which is already being tested for CT, a throat swab which is an extra sample has to be charged at full price by theLaboratory. Perhaps full price testing of TS can only be justified for groups with higher than average GC diagnoses such as MSM (3.0%) or females with an indication for a rectal testing (3.6%).