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. For: 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.
Smeared and air-dried teflon-coated slide should be dispatched to the laboratory in a slide container.
Direct Immunofluorescence (DIF)
Positive for Chlamydia trachomatis by IF (Elementary bodies seen);Chlamydia trachomatis elementary bodies not seen by IF
Range 1 – 3 days
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