Researchers develop painless test for chlamydiaJuly 30th, 2009 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS
Indo-Asian News Service
London, July 30 (IANS) A new test will permit a rapid yet painless diagnosis of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, enabling treatment on the spot. An evaluation of the test shows that it is significantly more accurate than existing urine-based rapid tests. The researchers took samples from over 1,200 men at two clinical sites.
The Chlamydia Rapid Test, a urine test developed by Helen Lee from the University of Cambridge and colleagues, can be used with minimal training.
They found that the test correctly identified chlamydia infection in 84.1 percent of samples, more accurately than the nearest competitor for men.
“Horror stories about painful swabs have put men off getting tested for chlamydia, and other non-invasive tests are expensive, technically complex and take days to obtain the result,” explained Lee.
“This has led to many cases of infection in men going undiagnosed and being transmitted to their female partners, with potentially more serious complications,” she added.
Chlamydia, caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, is the most common sexually-transmitted bacterial infection afflicting sexually active men and women aged 16-24 years.
In the majority of cases, the disease is asymptomatic in both men and women. If symptoms show, they may include discharge or pain when passing urine for men.
Recent research suggests that, if untreated — even when no symptoms show — it may be a cause of reduced fertility. In women, it can lead to even more serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and chronic pelvic pain.
In 2008, young people accounted for two thirds of all new episodes of uncomplicated chlamydia infections diagnosed in genito-urinary medicine clinics in Britain.
In England, as many 68 young men in every 1,000 carry the infection; the figure is nearly 84 out of 1,000 for young women. Since the mid-1990s, the number of diagnosed infections has risen to an average of 7,500 per year to over 123,000.
These findings were published in the Wednesday edition of the British Medical Journal.
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