From the Editor

Friday, December 23, 2016 Published in On-Demand Spring 2012 Written by David Persing M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical and Technology Officer, Cepheid

In this issue of On Demand, Dr. Ellen Jo Baron provides an interesting and provocative commentary on the decades-long evolution of molecular diagnostic tests for sexually transmitted infections caused by Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. During the initial evaluation phases of nucleic acid amplification testing for these organisms, there was much concern about the rates of apparent false positive results. A significant number of PCR positive cases were negative by traditional culture-based methods, and it took several years for the testing community to understand that PCR was more sensitive than culture. Ultimately, patients benefitted because more of them were diagnosed and treated properly.

History of Laboratory Testing for Sexually Transmitted Bacteria: From Old School to Next Gen

Friday, December 23, 2016 Published in On-Demand Spring 2012 Written by Ellen Jo Baron, Ph.D., D(ABMM), Prof. Emerita, Stanford University Director of Medical Affairs, Cepheid

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are an unfortunate fact of life. Although at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., at least, the numbers of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) temporarily dipped due to increased use of condoms, they seem to be resurging. In northern Europe, CT is again prevalent.

Next-Generation Testing for CT/NG

Friday, December 23, 2016 Published in On-Demand Spring 2012 Written by Ellen Jo Baron, Ph.D., D(ABMM), Prof. Emerita, Stanford University Director of Medical Affairs, Cepheid

Another major revolution in NG/CT testing is about to begin. The next generation nucleic acid amplification GeneXpert® CT/NG assay has been designed to be a more specific test for these sexually associated infectious disease agents than ever before. With its ease of use and ability to test one or as many samples as needed, this assay could expand the capability of NG and CT testing to virtually every laboratory, no matter how small or large and no matter what their demand. The age of send-out testing for these two STIs may soon be over.