A doctor may order the test if you have symptoms such as vaginal discharge and abdominal pain (for women) or unusual discharge from the penis or pain on urination (for men). However, about 75% of infected women and 50% of infected men show no active symptoms, so the Centers for Disease Control recommend testing in the following cases:
- All sexually active females under 20 years of age (test at least once a year).
- Women ages 20 and older who have one or more risk factors (test annually). Risk factors include having new or multiple sex partners, having sex with someone who has other partners, and not using barrier contraceptives, such as condoms.
- All women with an infection of the cervix.
- All pregnant women.
A positive test indicates an active infection that requires treatment with a course of antibiotics.
Chlamydia Antigen Detection:
- The test is an immunoassay in the format of immuno-chromatographic strips (ICSs) encased within a plastic cassette. The test detects antigen using high-affinity antibodies fixed onto nitrocellulose strips. A is a solubilising buffer, which releases the chlamydia from the host cells on the swab. B is a reagent mixture, which contains the reagents necesssary to visualise the test result.
Peeling et al. Nature Reviews Microbiology 4, S7–S19 (December 2006) | doi:10.1038/nrmicro1569