Evaluation of six nucleic acid amplification tests used for diagnosis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Russia compared with an international strictly validated real-time porA pseudogene polymerase chain reaction.

Research paper by E E Shipitsyna, E E Zolotoverkhaya, S O SO Hjelmevoll, A A Maximova, A A Savicheva, E E Sokolovsky, V V Skogen, M M Domeika, M M Unemo

Indexed on: 21 May '09Published on: 21 May '09Published in: Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology


In Russia, laboratory diagnosis of gonorrhoea has been mainly based on microscopy only and, in some settings, relatively rare suboptimal culturing. In recent years, Russian developed and manufactured nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) have been implemented for routine diagnosis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. However, these NAATs have never been validated to any international well-recognized diagnostic NAAT.This study aims to evaluate the performance characteristics of six Russian NAATs for N. gonorrhoeae diagnostics.In total, 496 symptomatic patients were included. Five polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and one real-time nucleic acid sequence based amplification (NASBA) assay, developed by three Russian companies, were evaluated on urogenital samples, i.e. cervical and first voided urine (FVU) samples from females (n = 319), urethral and FVU samples from males (n = 127), and extragenital samples, i.e. rectal and pharyngeal samples, from 50 additional female patients with suspicion of gonorrhoea. As reference method, an international strictly validated real-time porA pseudogene PCR was applied.The prevalence of N. gonorrhoeae was 2.7% and 16% among the patients providing urogenital and extragenital samples, respectively. The Russian NAATs and the reference method displayed high level of concordance (99.4-100%). The sensitivities, specificities, positive predictive values and negative predictive values of the Russian tests in different specimens were 66.7-100%, 100%, 100%, and 99.4-100%, respectively.Russian N. gonorrhoeae diagnostic NAATs comprise relatively good performance characteristics. However, larger studies are crucial and, beneficially, the Russian assays should also be evaluated to other international highly sensitive and specific, and ideally Food and Drug Administration approved, NAATs such as Aptima Combo 2 (Gen-Probe).