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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Sexually Transmitted Bacterial Infections (by ASCLS). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Laboratory Diagnosis

  • Direct examination of cervical or urethral specimens by direct fluorescent antibody test
    • Very time consuming to read but demonstrates good specimens because epithelial cells can be seen
    • Not as sensitive as molecular methods
    • Not performed in high volume labs
  • Enzyme immunoassay or optical immunoassay can be performed on cervical or urethral specimens
    • Can be used in outpatient settings but also not as sensitive as molecular methods
  • McCoy cell culture is the “gold standard” and should be used in child or sexual abuse cases
    • Positives are stained with DFA staining or iodine to see the inclusions
    • Cell culture capability required, complex, and time consuming
McCoy cell culture with iodine stained chlamydial inclusions