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Chlamydia IF



Specimen Required

​Chlamydia are intracellular organisms that infect epithelial surfaces. As such, specimens collected must contain as
many epithelial cells as possible. Hence, specimens should ideally be swabs of epithelial surfaces with a good sampling
of cells, e.g., conjunctival swabs, urethral swabs, cervical swabs.

General principles for collection of swab specimens:
Wipe off excess mucous/pus from site with cotton or Dacron swab. Discard swab. Use new Dacron swab to obtain epithelial cells.

a. Urethra: Insert a small Dacron swab 2 – 4 cm into urethra, rotate swab and withdraw.
b. Cervix: Insert large or small Dacron swab into endocervix canal until most of the tip is not visible. Rotate for 5 – 10 seconds inside canal, withdraw swab without touching any vaginal surfaces.
c. Conjunctival swab: Using a small Dacron swab, thoroughly swab the inner surface of the lower, then the upper eyelid.

Patient samples that are obtained by swabs should be smeared onto the well of the Teflon-coated slide (obtainable from the laboratory, Tel: 63214961) at the bedside. The slide should be air-dried completely.

Storage and Transport

​Smeared and air-dried teflon-coated slide should be dispatched to the laboratory in a slide container.


​Direct Immunofluorescence (DIF)

Test Results

​Positive for Chlamydia trachomatis by IF. Interpret this test in conjunction with the clinical presentation and other laboratory results. In low prevalence population, interpret test results cautiously. ; Chlamydia trachomatis elementary bodies not seen by IF

Reference Interval / Value

Turnaround Time

​Range 1 – 3 days

Day(s) Test Set up

​Monday - Friday


​The following types of specimens will be rejected by the laboratory:
- Body fluids (e.g. semen and urine)
- Pieces of tissue
- Rectal swabs
- Samples submitted in the form of dry swabs

Change History Notes



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