In situ hybridisation and direct fluorescence antibodies for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in synovial tissue from patients with reactive arthritis

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Abstract

Background

Chlamydia trachomatis is associated with Reiter's syndrome and reactive arthritis but the form in which the organism survives in synovial cells is unclear.

Aim

To compare in situ hybridisation with direct fluorescence in the detection of inapparent chlamydial infection in synovial tissue.

Methods

Synovial tissue from four patients with reactive arthritis patients was examined using biotin labelled probes for chlamydial DNA and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) labelled monoclonal antibodies against the major outer membrane protein.

Results

In two of the four patients, evidence of chlamydial infections was detected by in situ hybridisation in parallel sections but not with FITC labelled monoclonal antibodies.

Conclusions

Detection of chlamydial DNA by in situ DNA hybridisation may be a better way to identify chlamydial infection in synovial tissue than phenotype targeting with FITC conjugated antibodies, which is used as a standard procedure for screening clinical specimens for chlamydia.

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