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  1. C A Ison
  1. Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Laboratory, Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT, UK;

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    Forrester et al1 have reported a case of possible lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) and suggested that chlamydial serology may have a role in establishing a diagnosis of LGV.

    The detection of antibody can be useful in the diagnosis of infection when the organism is difficult or impossible to culture, such as Treponema pallidum in syphilis, or difficult to detect because it is present in small numbers deep in the tissue or in an abscess, as is suggested for the LGV serovars of Chlamydia trachomatis. Serological diagnosis of infection is notoriously difficult and often needs careful interpretation. Any serological test will only be as sensitive as the method will allow and techniques such as immunoassays and immunofluorescence are much superior to the complement fixation tests used previously. The specificity of the test is dependent on the antigen used and …

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