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New non-invasive urine test for chlamydia

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University of Cambridge researchers have developed a new urine test to diagnose chlamydia infection in men.

The Chlamydia Rapid Test, developed with funding from the Wellcome Trust, can diagnose chlamydia within the hour, improving the ability to successfully treat the infection on the spot and prevent re-transmission.

An evaluation of the test, published on bmj.com today, has shown it to be significantly more accurate that existing urine-based tests for men.

Researchers took samples from over 1,200 men, aged 16-73, at two UK sexual health centres. They found that the Chlamydia Rapid Test correctly identified chlamydia infection in 84% of the samples, more accurate thanwhen a polymerase chain reaction assay test was used.

The test is also highly convenient, with 96% of the men studied saying they would be willing to wait an hour or more for the test results, and is non-invasive, unlike other tests which use urethral swabs.

‘Horror stories about painful swabs have put men off getting tested for chlamydia , and other non-invasive tests are expensive, technically complex and take days to obtain the result,’ said Dr Helen Lee from the University of Cambridge who helped develop the test.

‘Without an effective and rapid testing programme for men, we are unlikely to succeed in efforts to control chlamydia infection. This new test is both accurate and swift, allowing men attending the clinics to be tested and treated in one site visit,’ she added.

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