Using liquid Pap tests to detect gonorrhea and chlamydia

June 1, 2006

You can accurately test for Neisseria gonorrheae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) using the same liquid Pap specimens collected for cervical cytology, researchers from University of Oklahoma college of Medicine in Tulsa have concluded.

You can accurately test for Neisseria gonorrheae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) using the same liquid Pap specimens collected for cervical cytology, researchers from University of Oklahoma college of Medicine in Tulsa have concluded. They undertook a study involving these two other STDs after two liquid-based cytology tests-ThinPrep (Cytyc Corp.) and SurePath (TriPath Imaging) had already shown the ability to retrieve additional test results for the human papillomavirus virus from fluid remaining after Pap smear preparation.

With the FDA approval of ThinPrep for the new indication of using remaining test fluid to detect gonorrhea and chlamydia, study researchers set out to assess the clinical usefulness of SurePath for the simultaneous preparation of the Pap smear and screening for NG and CT using the transcription mediated nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), APTIMA Combo 2 (AC2), APTIMA GC and CT assays.

Investigators collected separate cervical samples from 1,615 patients (from six states) for liquid Pap cytologic assessment using SurePath and for STD testing using the amplification assays mentioned above. They then tested an aliquot from the separate samples for NG and CT at the same time and assessed the results for sensitivity and specificity.

Investigators further concluded that a single collected specimen for cervical cytology and analysis for these two STDS as well as HPV may potentially lead to an easier and cheaper way to detect and treat all three.

Martens M, Hook EW III, Freund G, et al. Efficacy of screening for Neisseria gonorrheae and Chlamydia trachomatis from liquid Pap tests. Obstet Gynecol. 2006;107(4 suppl):55S.