Self-collected glans/meatal ‘dry’ swab specimen and NAAT technology detects Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae – implications for public policy changes

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Abstract

Increasing Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) rates and ever-present Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) infections in women have given rise in the past to consideration of male screening programs in order to address the silent male reservoir. Non-medical venues (e.g. home collection, restrooms or other private locations) may be viable venues to reach certain populations that in the past have not been accessed. Effortlessly collected, non-invasive, self-collected male specimens that are stable and easy to transport would enhance the success of male screening programs. We designed a head-to-head study to consider the effectiveness of non-invasive self-collected glans/meatal dry swab (SCS) specimens to detect CT and NG nucleic acid when compared to traditional clinician-collected swab (CCS) specimens and first-catch urine (FCU) specimens. A total of 284 male patients were included in the study. Specimens were processed using the Becton Dickinson ProbeTec ET system. The overall sensitivity of SCS was 91.1% with a specificity of 99.2%. There was an overall SCS agreement of 97.7% with CCS specimens and 90.4% with FCU specimens. Dry swab specimens are easy to collect, transport and test. Non-invasive dry self-collected glans/meatal swab specimens are a viable specimen choice.

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