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The May 2009 round of INSTAND's ring trial ""Chlamydia trachomatis detection PCR/NAT"" included a sample with high amount of the Swedish new variant of C. trachomatis (nvCT). A spectrum of at least 12 different commercial diagnostic nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) and many different in house NAATs were applied by the 128 participating laboratories which reported 152 results. Approximately 80% of the results correctly reported the presence of C. trachomatis in the nvCT specimen. The nvCT sample was mainly missed, as expected, by participants using the Roche COBAS Amplicor CT/NG (15.5% of reported results) but also by several participants using in house NAATs. The trend towards using nvCT-detecting NAATs is obvious and in addition to the new dual-target NAATs from Roche and Abbott, and BD ProbeTec ET, also a number of new CE mark-certified commercial tests from smaller diagnostic companies as well as many different in house NAATs were used. Laboratories using commercial or in house NAATs that do not detect the nvCT are encouraged to carefully monitor their C. trachomatis incidence, participate in appropriate external quality assurance and controls schemes, and consider altering their testing system. The reliable detection of low amounts of the wildtype C. trachomatis strain in other samples of the ring trial set indicates a good diagnostic performance of all applied commercial NAATs while also detecting the nvCT strain.


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