Salud Pública de México

Advances in diagnostic tests for bacterial STDs

Stephen A Morse

Resumen


Because of their asymptomatic nature and nonspecific symptoms, laboratory tests are often required to diagnose a sexually transmitted infection. Over the past few years, there have been advances in technology, such as the development of nucleic acid amplification assays, which have improved our ability to diagnose infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. The finding that nucleic acid amplification tests can detect more infected individuals and are useful in screening low prevalence populations, has led to the development of strategies designed to reduce the cost of these assays without significantly impacting their sensitivity. The development of new tests for the diagnosis of syphilis has gained momentum from the report of a synthetic VDRL antigen, which will result in better nontreponemal antibody tests for syphilis. In spite of the completion of the genome sequence of Treponema pallidum and its annotation, we are still unable to cultivate this microorganism in vitro. However, the molecular revolution has resulted in the development of PCR assays for detecting Treponema pallidum in various types of clinical specimens, and to the production of recombinant antigens for use in tests that detect treponemal-specific antibodies. Further research will improve the availability of low cost, sensitive tests for the diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections. The English version of this paper is available too at: http://www.insp.mx/salud/index.html


Palabras clave


laboratory diagnosis; bacterial STD; syphilis; gonorrhea; chlamydial infection

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Salud Pública de México es una publicación periódica electrónica, bimestral, publicada por el Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (con domicilio en Avenida Universidad núm. 655, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329-3000, página web, www.insp.mx), con ISSN: 1606-7916 y Reserva de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo con número: 04-2012-071614550600-203, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Editor responsable: Carlos Oropeza Abúndez. Responsable de la versión electrónica: Subdirección de Comunicación Científica y Publicaciones, Avenida Universidad núm. 655, planta baja, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329 3000. Fecha de última modificación: 11 de abril de 2019. D.R. © por el sitio: Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública.

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