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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

RAMPERSAD, Joanne et al. In-house polymerase chain reaction for affordable and sustainable Chlamydia trachomatis detection in Trinidad and Tobago. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.5, pp. 317-322. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892007001000004.

OBJECTIVES: To provide a preliminary assessment of in-house polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as an alternative to the more costly commercial test for detection of asymptomatic infection by Chlamydia trachomatis and to provide much needed demographic data on infection indicators within the Trinidad and Tobago public health care system. METHODS: An inexpensive in-house nested-PCR with an Internal Amplification Control was used to detect C. trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in urine samples collected from 273 apparently healthy, pregnant women from March-September 2004 in Trinidad, West Indies. Demographic information on participants was collected and subjected to statistical analyses. RESULTS: C. trachomatis was detected in 57/273 (21%) samples, of which 5 (2%) were also positive for N. gonorrhoeae. Infection correlated well with certain demographic parameters, with the highest incidence of C. trachomatis infection found among pregnant women that were single or of African descent. CONCLUSIONS: Given the lack of commercial tests in Trinidad, in-house PCR is an inexpensive alternative that can be used to detect asymptomatic infections of C. trachomatis and to provide demographic information needed for interventions by the public health care system.

Keywords : Chlamydia trachomatis; polymerase chain reaction; Trinidad and Tobago.

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