Evid Based Med doi:10.1136/eb-2013-101251
  • Diagnosis
  • Cohort study

Nucleic acid amplification tests of self-taken vulvovaginal swabs are more sensitive than clinician taken endocervical culture for gonorrhoea

  1. Collette Bromhead2
  1. 1Women's Health Research Centre, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2Molecular Biology Department, Aotea Pathology Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Beverley Lawton
    Women's Health Research Centre, University of Otago, PO Box 7343, Wellington South, Wellington 6242, New Zealand; bev.lawton{at}

Commentary on


Neisseria gonorrhoea (NG) has a low prevalence in most developed countries. NG causes significant pathology including pelvic inflammatory disease, neonatal transmission and increased susceptibility to HIV. It has been usual practice to detect NG by culturing endocervical and urethral specimens that are obtained by pelvic examination. However, there is a significant false-negative rate. The use of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) increases detection of NG.1 This study examines the diagnostic accuracy of NAATs for gonorrhoea detection by self-taken vulvovaginal swabs compared with culture of clinician taken urethral and endocervical samples.


The participants (n=3973) …

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