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J Histochem Cytochem. 1998 Sep;46(9):1017-23.

The in situ polymerase chain reaction for detection of chlamydia trachomatis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Division of Cytopathology, Georg-August-University, Goettingen, Germany.


The in situ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique that has important applications in the diagnosis of viral and bacterial diseases. This study investigated an in situ PCR assay established to detect the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis in endocervical swabs. In addition, histological sections of endocervical squamous cell carcinoma were analyzed because previous studies had revealed a significant association with C. trachomatis. A total of 20 cervical neoplasms (squamous cell carcinoma in situ; n = 10; invasive squamous cell carcinoma; n = 10) and endocervical smears taken from five patients with and without inflammatory changes were analyzed by conventional PCR. Chlamydial DNA was found in 10 histological samples (six carcinomas in situ, four invasive carcinomas) and in one endocervical swab from a patient with known C. trachomatis infection. Positive specimens were used for establishing an in situ PCR assay (IS-PCR). After IS-PCR, these samples showed dense cytoplasmic staining of endocervical cells (smears) and non-neoplastic epithelial cells (cervical neoplasms). The other tumor samples and smears did not demonstrate positive PCR reaction. The results indicate that in situ PCR is an effective technique for localizing C. trachomatis in target cells because IS-PCR detection of chlamydial DNA correlated with histological and cytological features.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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