Chlamydia tests use a sample of body fluid or urine to see whether chlamydia bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis) are present and causing an infection. Reference Chlamydia Opens New Window is the most common bacterial Reference sexually transmitted infection (STI) Opens New Window in the United States.
Several types of tests can be used to find a chlamydia infection. Most tests use a sample of body fluid from the affected area.
- Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). These tests find the genetic material (Reference DNA Opens New Window) of chlamydia bacteria. These tests are very good at identifying chlamydia. A test that is positive almost always means the problem is there and is unlikely to be a Reference false-positive Opens New Window test result. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is an example of a nucleic acid amplification test. This test can also be done on a urine sample.
- Nucleic acid hybridization tests (DNA probe test). A probe test also finds chlamydia DNA. A probe test is very accurate but is not as sensitive as nucleic acid amplification tests.
- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, EIA). This quick test finds substances (chlamydia Reference antigens Opens New Window) that trigger the immune system to fight chlamydia infection.
- Direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA). This quick test also finds chlamydia antigens.
- Chlamydia culture. A culture is a special cup that allows the chlamydia bacteria to grow. This test is more expensive, and the results take longer (5 to 7 days) than the other tests. The culture must be done in a lab.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 1, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH - Infectious Disease