With a mean age of 21 years 197 women at risk for an infection with Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) had a urinary sample (20 ml first-void urine, minimum 4 hours from prior mictuation) analysed with an enzyme immunoassay (IDEIA-III) for the detection of CT. They also had samples taken from both cervix and urethra for cultivation on McCoy's cells and testing with an enzyme immunoassay (Chlamydiazyme), plus verification of positive samples in the enzyme immunoassay (EIA) with monoclonal antibodies against CT. The urethral samples were compared against the urinary samples with regard to sensitivity and specificity in detecting CT. Women with a positive culture for CT and/or a positive verified EIA from either the cervix or the urethra, were regarded as "true" infections with CT. The prevalence of CT was 12.2%. The urinary EIA sample had a sensitivity of 84% whereas the urethral EIA sample had a sensitivity of 57%. The specificity was 98% and 100% for the urinary samples, and the urethral samples respectively. It is concluded that the urinary sample is superior to the urethral sample, and that the urinary sample could be used for screening programs, to detect CT among women.
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