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J Clin Microbiol. 2008 Dec;46(12):3892-5. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00412-08. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Comparison of Gen-probe transcription-mediated amplification, Abbott PCR, and Roche PCR assays for detection of wild-type and mutant plasmid strains of Chlamydia trachomatis in Sweden.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Aarhus N, Denmark.


The clinical performance of two nucleic acid amplification assays targeting the cryptic plasmid and two assays targeting rRNA molecules in Chlamydia trachomatis was examined. First-catch urine samples from Malmoe, Sweden, were tested for C. trachomatis with the Abbott real-time PCR assay m2000 and an in-house PCR for the new variant strain of C. trachomatis with a deletion in the cryptic plasmid. Aliquots of the urine samples were sent to Aarhus, Denmark, and further examined with the Roche COBAS Amplicor CT (RCA) PCR, the Gen-Probe Aptima Combo 2 assay (AC2) targeting the C. trachomatis 23S rRNA, and the Aptima C. trachomatis assay (ACT) targeting the 16S rRNA molecule. A positive prevalence of 9% (163/1,808 urine samples examined) was detected according to the combined reference standard. The clinical sensitivity and specificity of the four assays were as follows: for ACT, 100% (163/163) and 99.9% (1,643/1,645), respectively; for AC2, 100% (163/163) and 99.6% (1,640/1,645); for m2000, 68.7% (112/163) and 99.9% (1,644/1,645); for RCA, 63.8% (104/163) and 99.9% (1,643/1,645). The two Gen-Probe assays detected all mutant strains characterized by the in-house PCR as having the deletion in the cryptic plasmid, whereas the Roche and the Abbott PCRs targeting the plasmid were both unable to detect the plasmid mutant. The difference in clinical sensitivity between the plasmid PCR assays m2000 and RCA, on the one hand, and the rRNA assays AC2 and ACT, on the other, could be attributed almost exclusively to the presence of the plasmid mutant in about one-quarter of the Chlamydia-positive samples examined.

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