Comparison of methods for the detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from South African women attending antenatal care.

Affiliation

Oree G(1), Naicker M(1), Maise HC(2), Tinarwo P(3), Ramsuran V(4), Abbai NS(1).
Author information:
(1)School of Clinical Medicine Research Laboratory, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, 56394University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
(2)Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Clinical Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, 56394University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
(3)Department of Biostatistics, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, 56394University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
(4)School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, 56394University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

Abstract

The detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae using culture assays is challenging. This study aims to compare different assays for the detection of N. gonorrhoeae. This cross-sectional study was conducted at King Edward VIII Hospital and included 307 antenatal attendees, each willing to provide two endocervical swabs. The first swab was used for culture identification of N. gonorrhoeae, and the second swab was processed for the detection of the pathogen by the TaqMan quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay, an in-house 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) PCR and PCR detection of the opa gene. Culture and the nucleic acid amplification assays were each used as comparator tests in the analysis. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated using RS Studio. The prevalence of N. gonorrhoeae was 7.8%. When compared to the TaqMan assay, the 16S rRNA PCR exhibited the highest sensitivity of 62%, with a substantial level of agreement (kappa level of agreement: 0.60), followed by the opa PCR (38%) with a moderate level of agreement (0.52) and culture exhibiting the lowest sensitivity of 25% with a fair level of agreement (0.38). The diagnostic accuracy of all the assays was >90%. The TaqMan qPCR assay has the ability to serve as a future diagnostic assay for the detection of N. gonorrhoeae.