Self-taken pharyngeal and rectal swabs are appropriate for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in asymptomatic men who have sex with men
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 15:04 authored by S. Alexander, C. Ison, J. Parry, Carrie LlewellynCarrie Llewellyn, S. Wayal, D. Richardson, A. Phillips, Helen Smith, M. Fisher
Self-taken pharyngeal and rectal swabs are appropriate for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in asymptomatic men who have sex with men S Alexander1, C Ison1, J Parry2, C Llewellyn3, S Wayal3, D Richardson4, A Phillips4, H Smith3, M Fisher4 on behalf of the Brighton Home Sampling Kits Steering Group 1 Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Laboratory, Health Protection Agency, London, UK 2 Virus Reference Division, Health Protection Agency, London, UK 3 Division of Primary Care and Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Falmer, Brighton, UK 4 Department of Genitourinary Medicine/HIV, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, Brighton, UK Correspondence to: Dr S Alexander, Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Laboratory, Health Protection Agency, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT, UK; email@example.com Introduction: Self-taken specimens from men who have sex with men (MSM) could be important in reducing high levels of demand on sexual health services. The performance of self-taken specimens for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) from both pharyngeal and rectal sites in asymptomatic MSM was assessed. Methods: MSM were examined according to clinic protocol: a rectal and pharyngeal swab for GC culture and a rectal swab for the CT strand displacement assay. An extra set of nurse-taken and self-taken pharyngeal and rectal specimens were also requested and were tested using the Aptima Combo 2 assay and the result compared with the routine clinic result, which was considered the gold standard. Results: A total of 272 MSM was recruited and the sensitivity and specificity of nurse-taken and patient-taken swabs, respectively, was as follows: rectal GC: 94.9% and 90.1% (nurse); 92.3% and 87.9% (patient); pharyngeal GC: 88.2% and 91.8% (nurse); 100% and 87.8% (patient); rectal CT: 80.0% and 99.6% (nurse); 91.4% and 98.2% (patient). No significant difference in sensitivity or specificity was observed between the nurse-taken and the patient-taken rectal swabs for either GC or CT. For the detection of GC from the pharynx, comparable sensitivities were achieved between nurse-taken and patient-taken swabs (p = 0.5); however, a significant difference in specificity was observed (p = 0.006). This was due to a higher number of false GC-positive self-taken pharyngeal swabs from patients with high rates (90.9%; 10/11) of confirmed concurrent GC infection in different anatomical sites. Conclusions: MSM are able to collect self-taken rectal and pharyngeal swabs that are comparable to those taken by clinicians.
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
PublisherBMJ Publishing Group
Department affiliated with
- Primary Care and Public Health Publications
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