In general, point-of-care (POC) tests for Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) show disappointing test performance, especially disappointing sensitivity results. However, one study sponsored by the manufacturer (Diagnostics for the Real World) reported over 80% sensitivity with their Chlamydia Rapid Test (CRT). We evaluated the performance of this CRT in a non–manufacturer-sponsored trial.
Between July 2009 and February 2010, we included samples from 912 women in both high- and low-risk clinics for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Paramaribo, Suriname. Sensitivity, specificity, positive- and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV) for CRT compared to NAAT (Aptima, Gen-Probe) were determined. Quantitative Ct load and human cell load were determined in all CRT and/or NAAT positive samples.
CRT compared to NAAT showed a sensitivity and specificity of 41.2% (95% CI, 31.9%–50.9%) and 96.4% (95% CI, 95.0%–97.5%), respectively. PPV and NPV were 59.2% (95% CI, 47.5%–70.1%) and 92.9% (95% CI, 91.0%–94.5%), respectively. Quantitative Ct bacterial load was 73 times higher in NAAT-positive/CRT-positive samples compared to NAAT-positive/CRT-negative samples (p<0.001). Human cell load did not differ between true-positive and false-negative CRT results (p = 0.835). Sensitivity of CRT in samples with low Ct load was 12.5% (95% CI, 5.2%–24.2%) and in samples with high Ct load 73.5% (95% CI, 59.9%–84.4%).