Validation of a Multiplex PCR Assay for the Simultaneous Detection of Human Papillomavirus and Chlamydia trachomatis in Cervical PreservCyt Samples

Helen Keegan, Dublin Institute of Technology
Alison Malkin, Dublin Institute of Technology
Mairead Griffin, St James' Hospital
Fergus X. Ryan, Dublin Institute of Technology
Helen Lambkin, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Article


Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted bacterium worldwide (1 ) and a leading cause of infertility in women (2 ). Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the most important single agent causing carcinoma of the uterine cervix (3 ). Combined molecular screening for C. trachomatis and HPV could be justified given their propensity to cause asymptomatic infections, particularly in high-risk groups. Features of HPV infection of cells of the uterine cervix are traditionally reported by the Pap smear method (4 ). The introduction of liquid-based cytology, such as the ThinPrep® Pap TestTM, has had the effect of improving the sensitivity of conventional cytologic screening with the potential for HPV testing of residual cellular material in borderline or difficult cases (5–7 ). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently cleared a hybrid capture-based system (HCII; Digene) for screening women over 30 years of age as an adjunct to Pap testing (8 ). Researchers have developed consensus primers for the detection of HPV DNA by PCR (9, 10). We developed and evaluated a multiplex PCR for the simultaneous detection of HPV and C. trachomatis from PreservCytTM (Thin- Prep) solution.