Background: To avoid positive results attributable to residual DNA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding repeat testing with nucleic-acid based tests within 3 weeks after treatment of chlamydial (Chlamydia trachomatis [CT]) or gonococcal (Neisseria gonorrhoeae [GC]) infection. We retrospectively analyzed the duration of detectable DNA from a longitudinal cohort of adolescent women after diagnosis and treatment of infection with CT, GC, or Trichomonas vaginalis (TV).
Methods: Vaginal swabs were obtained weekly from young women for up to 12 weeks (observation period) after treatment of CT, GC and TV infections. Swabs were tested using a commercially available first generation nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) for CT and GC, and a laboratory developed NAAT for TV. Kaplan-Meier statistics were used to estimate median time to the first negative DNA-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) result.
Results: Observation periods were available for analysis for 195, 82 and 102 treatments for CT, GC, and TV infection, respectively. Median time to a first negative PCR result for CT, GC, and TV was 9 (range 0–84), 6 (0–76), and 7 (0–84) days, and by day 21, 89%, 95%, and 85% were negative, respectively.
Conclusions: Data from this retrospective analysis indicate that greater than 85% of these young women did not have detectable CT, GC, or TV DNA by day 21 post-treatment. This data may be useful to clinicians for patient management and post-treatment testing purposes.