John Libbey Eurotext

Annales de Biologie Clinique

Serologic diagnosis of chlamydial and Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections Volume 64, issue 5, Septembre 2006


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Laboratoire de bactériologie, Centre national de référence des infections à Chlamydia, Centre hospitalier universitaire, Bordeaux
  • Key words: serodiagnosis, Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • DOI : 10.1684/abc.2006.0002
  • Page(s) : 409-19
  • Published in: 2006

The diagnosis of Chlamydia trachomatis infection can be based either on direct detection of the organism or its components or indirectly by measuring antibodies as markers of the individual’s response to the infection. The latter is currently of limited value. Neither IgG or IgA antibodies can be used to diagnose current genital infection by Chlamydia trachomatis or to exclude such an infection. There is no solid ground as yet for the use of IgA antibodies as a marker of persistant or unresolved infection. Commercial tests in the Elisa format based on peptides from the MOMP of Chlamydia trachomatis are available and show good specificities and sensitivities. Hsp60 seems to have a unique role in the development of tubal scarring and antibodies to chsp60 could predict tubal factor infertility. Serology is the main diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. The serologic assays are the complement fixation test (CF), immunofluorescence, the microparticle agglutination and recently EIAs. The CF test is still used for serodiagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection because of the sensitivity of 90%. Single titer of ≥ 64 are considered to be indicative of recent infection. A number of commercial EIAs have been developped. The difficulty for IgG interpretation is a definition of a cutoff value for discriminating infected and healthy subjects. Most of the IgM assays show good diagnostic sensitivities and are valuable tools for the early diagnosis of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in children. There are no wholly satisfactory serological methods for diagnosis of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection. Problems arise from the high background of IgG antibody prevalence, the lack of standardized testing methods.