Diagnostic laboratory for gonorrhea analysis using different detection test. Ultrasensitive tests by PCR and rapid antigen detection tests for gonorrhea.
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Sensitive gonorrhea test using PCR
The performance of PCR or NAAT (for nucleic acid amplification technique) in terms of sensitivity, specificity and ease of sample collection and transport is greater than that of any of the other available tests for the diagnosis of gonococcal infections. In the diagnosis of N. gonorrhoeae infections, the PCR has become the reference standard, displacing the culture tests of the microorganism that for a long time were this reference standard. In general, this is due to the difficulties in maintaining the viability of the microorganisms during transport and storage after obtaining the sample that is necessary in culture tests.
The extreme sensitivity of this test makes it possible to detect the infection even in samples with a low amount of bacteria, such as those that usually occur in asymptomatic N. gonorrhoeae infections. In this sense, the absence of symptoms in infections by this bacteria is not infrequent. The following table shows the frequency values of asymptomatic gonorrhea infections, based on what is described in the medical literature, which depends heavily on infected tissue.
|20-30%||50-75%||up to 90%||70-90%|
What is the window period of gonorrea test?
Another factor to take into account is that the gonorrhea test by PCR allows to reduce the window period until about 48-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria, due to the high sensitivity of this test with respect to other screening tests. In fact, PCR tests are approximately 20% to 35% more sensitive than other non-culture based tests.
PCR is the recommended test for the detection of gonorrhea in samples from the genitals (urethra / vagina / cervix), oropharynx and anal based on the sensitivity, ease of collection and processing of the sample. In the case of genital samples the sensitivity of the PCR diagnosis is around 99%, which is higher than that obtained with other tests of gonorrhea such as antigen detection tests. However, for other types of samples (throat / rectum / conjunctival) this value is around 90%.
This technique allows to have the results in a really short time. In a maximum of 24 hours, although it is possible to have the results in only 90 minutes.
Note that to detect gonorrhea infections in the urethra in men this test is performed using urine. This is less troublesome than the use of swabs for collection of urethral exudate. Therefore it is necessary not to have urinated at least two hours before the collection of the sample.
You can see the characteristics of our gonorrhea tests in this video.
Rapid gonorrhea test in 20 min
It consists of a detection of gonorrhea antigens. The detection limit of this rapid test of gonorrhea is not as sensitive as in the PCR so in very recent or asymptomatic infections this value may not be reached and the use of nucleic acid amplification tests in the detection is recommended. The window period for the rapid test recommended by leading institutions in the study of the diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections such as the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology is 1 week although if clear symptoms of gonorrhea infection appear they can be performed before that weather. Note that, the sensitivity value of this test in male and female cervical urethral samples is approximately 90%. The use of these tests is not recommended for oropharyngeal or rectal samples since the sensitivity of the test with these is very low (the diagnostic value is greatly reduced).
This gonorrhea tests is available together with other STIs tests: Knows other test packs.
What is gonorrhea?
It is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by infection with bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacterium reproduces in reproductive tract of both men and women, and can also grow in mouth, throat, eyes and anus.
This infection has a prevalence of 125 cases per 100.000 people.
How is gonorrhea infection transmitted?
It is transmitted through contact with penis , vagina, mouth or anus. Ejaculation need not be given to air. Thus, transmission occurs by anal or vaginal unprotected sex and sometimes oral sex, but not for kissing.
It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to newborn during childbirth in women. To prevent eye infection baby iodine solutions in the eyes of the same are applied .
Those who have had gonorrhea and have been treated can be re-infected.
What are your symptoms?
This disease may be present without symptoms or develop between five to thirty days after infection. These symptoms are painful urination, whitish discharge from the penis in men or increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods in women .
Because gonorrhea bacteria can grow on many human mucosa may occur depending on the site other complications in which infection develops. Thus, the anorectal infection is common, but not exclusive, men who have anal intercourse. In fact, rectal infection with gonorrhea also occurs in about half of women in diagnosed this pathogen. Most rectal Neisseria gonorrhoeae are asymptomatic, but in case of symptoms in men, these are similar to those of proctitis. Less frequently, the infection can also occur in the throat called gonococcal pharyngitis. Generally between 10 and 25% of people with gonorrhea also they have a throat infection. Gonococcal conjunctivitis in adults is rare but may occur more frequently in infants born to mothers with gonorrhea.
The biggest problem with gonorrhea infection are possible complications it presents.
What are the complications of gonorrhea?
When gonorrhea is not treated, it can cause serious problems.
In women, gonorrhea is a common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It is a disease that may be present without symptoms and when they appear, are very nonspecific, including abdominal pain and fever. However, it can cause damage to fallopian tubes and may cause abortions, infertility or increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
In men, gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a condition of the testicles that may lead to infertility if not diagnosed and treated.
That is, the non-diagnostic and treatment of gonorrhea, can cause, as more serious consequence, infertility in 10% of infected.
Sometimes the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes inflammation of the joints called gonococcal arthritis is more common in women, especially sexually active adolescents. Normally, skin rashes and condition of one or more joints such as the knee, wrist and ankle occur. However, less commonly the infection can enter the blood and produce disseminated gonococcemia that can be very serious.
Disseminated infection, which can be very serious
Other complications from gonorrhea infection are the periurethral abscess, which produces pus accumulation in the tissues surrounding the urethra, and peritonitis.
How does gonorrhea affect a pregnancy?
Gonorrhea can cause premature pregnancies. All pregnant women should be tested for gonorrhea performed, even if they are not at risk for the disease. In case you are infected, you should consult your doctor as some of the antibiotics used to treat gonorrhea, are counterproductive to pregnancy.
- Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae Transmission From the Female Oropharynx to the Male Urethra. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2011 38(5):372-373.
- High prevalence of rectal gonorrhoea among men reporting contact with men with gonorrhoea: Implications for epidemiological treatment. BMC Public Health (2015) 15:658.
- Gonorrhea infection in women: prevalence, effects, screening, and management. International Journal of Women’s Health 2011:3 197–206.
- Transmission of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae among Men with Urethritis and Their Female Sex Partners. The Journal of Infectious Diseases 1998 178:1707–1712.
- Source: NIH (National Institute of Health, USA)