STDs Expert Forum
SPECIFIC ANTIBODY TEST FOR CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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SPECIFIC ANTIBODY TEST FOR CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS

I AM 45 YEARS OLD. FOURTEEN YEARS AGO I HAD A DISCHARGE PUS-LIKE FROM THE PENIS. THE CULTURE TEST OF THE URETHRA WAS NEGATIVE FOR GONORRHEA AND CHLAMYDIA, BUT THE DOCTOR DIAGNOSED CHLAMYDIA AND TOLD ME THAT IT WAS DIFICULT TO CULTURE. I WAS TREATED WITH ANTIBIOTIC BUT MY EXWIFE DID NOT. TWO OR THREE WEEKS LATER THE DISCHARGE WAS PRESENTED AGAIN. THE CULTURE TEST WAS NEGATIVES AGAIN FOR GONORRHEA AND CHLAMYDIA. I COMPLETED THE TREATMENT FOR SECOND TIME.
BEFORE THE DISCHARGE I HAD A DISPUTE WITH MY EXWIFE BECAUSE A FRIEND THAT USED TO GO OUR HOUSE. I ACCUSED THEM FOR THE INFECTION.
BUT I HAD AN AFFAIR THREE MONTH BEFORE A DISCHARGE. ALSO I GOT GONORRHEA WHEN I WAS 20 YEARS OLD. AND MY EXWIFE GAVE BIRTH TO OUR CHILD TWO MONTH BEFORE THE DISCHARGE.
I ALWAYS DOUBT OF MY DECISION OF SEPARARTION. I HAD NO EVIDENCE OF INFIDELITY OF MY EXWIFE NEITHER WHAT KIND OF INFECTION I GOT.
TWO WEEKS AGO SOMEBODY TALKED TO ME ABOUT ANTIBODY TEST. I REQUESTED MY DR. THIS TETS. HE TOOK SAMPLES OF BLOOD AND URINE.
THE RESULT WAS:
- CHLAMYDIA IGG ANTIBODY      2.51 H
- CHLAMYDIA DNA, PCR          NOT DETECTED
BUT THE IGG TEST DOES NOT SPECIFY AMONG C. TRACHOMATIS, C. NEUMOMIAE AND C. PSITTACI. I WANT TO KNOW IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC ANTIBODY TEST FOR C. TRACHOMATIS AND IF IS POSSIBLE TO KNOW WHAT WAS THE CAUSE OF THE URETHRITIS FOURTEEN YEARS AGO.
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Your symptoms indeed suggest you may have had a genital chlamydial infection, but as you apparently know, your positive blood test result could reflect a non-sexually transmitted chlamydial infection (especially C. pneumoniae).  There simply is no test that does what you want.  In fact, in 30+ years in the STD business, I never once had a patient in whom I ordered a chlamydia blood test, because a negative doesn't mean infection didn't occur, and a positive doesn't tell you which chlamydia species was the cause.

Barring some new technology that someone might invent in future years, you are never going to know the cause of your urethritis that long ago.  I don't mean to be blunt, but I also don't want you to waste time and energy looking for a different answer.  You won't find it.

Best wishes--  HH, MD
3 Comments
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To clarify before someone challenges me:  I have ordered blood tests to diagnose suspected lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), a rare STD due to particular strains of chlamydia.  But that's a different issue.  I have never ordered a blood test to check out a non-LGV chlamydial infection.

HHH, MD
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THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR ANSWER. I WAS WONDER BECAUSE IT WAS SO QUICKLY. I SENT THE SAME QUESTION TO ASCLS CONSUMER RESPONSE TEAM AND THEY RESPOND TO ME THIS:"... AS FO THE IGG ANTIBODIES TO CHLAMYDIA, YOU ARE CORRECT THAT THE RESULTS DO NOT TELL YOU WHETER THEY ARE CAUSED BY ANTIBODIES TO C. TRAHOMATIS, C. PNEUMONIES, OR C. PSITTACI. THE ANTIBODIES COULD BE DUE TO A PAST INFECTION WITH ANY OF THE LISTED ORGANISMS. YOU ASK ABOUT SPECIFIC TEST FOR CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS. THERE ARE INDIRECT FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TEST (IFA) THAT COULD BE DONE THAT ARE SPECIES-SPECIFIC FOR C. TRACHOMATIS, C. PNEUMONIAE, AND C. PSITTACI. THE CAVEAT IS THAT CROSS-REACTIONS COULD OCCUR THAT MAY COMPLICATE INTERPRETATION OF THE TEST RESULTS...A COMPLETE PANEL LOOKING FOR IGG ANTIBODIES TO EACH SPECIES INDIVIDUALLY WOULD BE MOST HELPFUL FOR UNDERSTANDING YOUR SITUATION BETTER."
I APPRECIATE YUOR OPINION. I CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR SEVERAL APPOIMENT WITH AN UROLOGY. I WANT TO KNOW THE EXACT NAME OF THE TEST  THAT I NEED TO REQUEST MY DOCTOR TO DO IT.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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