Bădescu Aida Corina MD
University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Grigore T. Popa” Iasi
Hospital of Infectious Diseases “Sf. Parascheva “Iasi
Modern diagnostic methods in sexually transmitted infections
Author: Aida Corina Bădescu
The purpose of this presentation is to provide participants an overview of the current diagnostic possibilities in sexually transmitted infections.
The etiology of sexually transmitted infections has been widened in recent years, including pathogens that are not exclusively sexually transmitted, but they recognize predominantly other routes of transmission (digestive, cutaneous, parenteral, etc.). True sexually transmitted pathogens, fragile microorganisms that do not survive in the external environment and are transmitted only through sexual contact, remain those who raise the greatest problems of diagnosis and therapy response monitoring. In this category are included non-cultivating microorganisms (Treponema pallidum), those cultivated only under special conditions, cell cultures or experimental animals (Chlamydia trachomatis, viruses) or those difficult to cultivate (genital mycoplasmas, etc.).
Modern diagnostic methods (hybridization, polymerase chain reaction – PCR), based on the detection of specific genes of pathogenic microorganisms, provide the laboratory and the clinician with a valuable tool for the detection of these microorganisms, including non-cultivating or difficult to cultivate. These methods have a superior sensitivity to classical diagnostic methods and maximum specificity, allowing both the detection of pathogens and their precise identification to species and patotype levels.
In recent years, these methods have been improved by producing test panels that, through a multiplex PCR technique, allow the simultaneous detection of numerous pathogens. Furthermore, the latest generation panels can also detect genes known to be responsible for the resistance to antibiotics of choice used in therapy.
The presentation will include an overview of molecular diagnostic tests on the Romanian market, useful for the detection of the main sexually transmitted pathogens.