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New rapid Chlamydia test could enable 'test and treat' strategy
Date:11/29/2007

minutes whilst the nucleic acid based tests can take weeks.

"The speed of the CRTs means that we can provide a 'test and treat' strategy, offering immediate clinical care to the patient," says Dr Lee. " This has the benefits of reducing the risk of complications and preventing onward transmission."

In addition to being a valuable addition to existing screening programmes, the new Chlamydia rapid test could be used in settings such as mobile clinics and outreach clinics to help improve the screening coverage of difficult-to-reach populations.

Penny Barber, Chief Executive of Brooks in Birmingham, a young peoples sexual health clinic which participated in the evaluation of the new test says: "The Chlamydia Rapid Test is about more than speed of treatment for positive clients, vital though that is from a public health perspective. All clients, anxious about having Chlamydia, benefit from the relief a rapid result gives. For clinics, there is a strong business case for a method that cuts out the logistics and cost of transporting samples, sending results back and then contacting clients."

In developing countries, especially those with high-risk populations such as female sex workers, the availability of this simple and rapid test would also allow screening and treatment of more individuals.

Dr. Lourdes Mahilum-Tapay, who led the clinical trials, comments: Because the test is easy to use and is robust, it can be used in a clinic in London or the Philippines. The test can be implemented easily without the need for laboratory equipment or highly trained staff."

The Development of the test was made possible with funding from the Wellcome Trust's Technology Transfer Division. The test will be made available by the spinout company Diagnostics for the Real World in early 2008. They plan to provide the test at virtually cost price to public sections of the developing countries. This will be subsidised by charging the marke
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Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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