Chlamydia Testing

A chlamydia test is used to detect if a person is positive of the chlamydia bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. The tests are mostly simple and painless and most people can use a urine sample for them. For some people, they are required to have a swab test to collect some samples from the area where they might have the chlamydia infection. These samples are then tested for infection.

chlamydia testingThere are several types of tests used to detect a chlamydia infection. Here are the following:

  1. The Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT)  is the preferred test. This test is based on the amplification of the DNA present in the chlamydia bacteria and is more sensitive and specific compared to other chlamydia tests. It uses a sample of urine both for men and women and there is no need for a pelvic examination for women in this specific test.
  2. The DNA probe test also detects chlamydia DNA which gives an accurate result but is not that sensitive as compared to the nucleic acid amplification test.
  3. The Direct Fluorescent Antibody stain (DFA) detects chlamydia antigens.
  4. A Chlamydia culture can also be done to detect chlamydia bacteria. But this specific test may take longer, about a week, compared to other tests. This is done through a special cup which allows the chlamydia bacteria to grow.

There are several reasons why a chlamydia test needs to be done:

  • To know if there is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) which is caused by the chlamydia bacteria.
  • To check people who are most likely to acquire chlamydia especially that this disease does not show symptoms.
  • To check a newborn whose mother is positive for the chlamydia infection at the time of delivery.

The chlamydia test is also recommended for the following people:

  • Sexually active women aged 25 years or younger;
  • Women older than 25 years and are having sex with multiple partners or have a new partner;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Men who are experiencing an abnormal discharge in the penis; and
  • Men who feel pain around the penis.