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Survey of the laboratory diagnosis of gonorrhoea and chlamydial infection in the UK
  1. Martina Toby1,2,
  2. Pamela Saunders2,
  3. Catherine A Ison2
  1. 1 Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Guys and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Unit, Microbiological Services, Public Health England, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martina Toby, Harrison Wing, St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7EH, UK; Martina.toby{at}

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Dear Editor,

The introduction of dual nucleic acid amplification tests (dual NAATs) for the detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) has changed the laboratory diagnosis of these infections.1 Compared with culture for NG, the sensitivity and specificity of these tests for the diagnosis of gonorrhoea are high (>90%) but in low prevalence populations significant numbers of false-positive results can occur.2

In 2007, 29% of laboratories were using dual NAATs3 but there are no data on current usage to inform testing guidelines. We used an internet-based Public Health England survey tool comprised of 26 questions emailed to UK microbiology laboratories from May to June 2013 to assess usage. Responses …

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  • Contributors CAI initiated the study; MT designed the survey, undertook the analysis and prepared the first draft of the manuscript. CAI and PS commented on the design of the survey and supervised the study. All authors commented and approved the final draft of the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was internally funded by Public Health England.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.