Publications & Reports

Point-of-Care Testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea: Implications for Clinical Practice.

Natoli L, Maher L, Shephard M, Hengel B, Tangey A, Badman SG, Ward J, Guy RJ on behalf of the TTANGO Investigators (including Guy R, Kaldor J, Donovan B, Wilson D, Wand H, Regan D, Causer L, Hengel B, Anderson D, Whiley D, Tabrizi SN, Fairley C)
The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; The Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


OBJECTIVES: Point-of-care (POC) testing for chlamydia (CT) and gonorrhoea (NG) offers a new approach to the diagnosis and management of these sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in remote Australian communities and other similar settings. Diagnosis of STIs in remote communities is typically symptom driven, and for those who are asymptomatic, treatment is generally delayed until specimens can be transported to the reference laboratory, results returned and the patient recalled. The objective of this study was to explore the clinical implications of using CT/NG POC tests in routine clinical care in remote settings. METHODS: In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposively selected group of 18 key informants with a range of sexual health and laboratory expertise. RESULTS: Participants highlighted the potential impact POC testing would have on different stages of the current STI management pathway in remote Aboriginal communities and how the pathway would change. They identified implications for offering a POC test, specimen collection, conducting the POC test, syndromic management of STIs, pelvic inflammatory disease diagnosis and management, interpretation and delivery of POC results, provision of treatment, contact tracing, management of client flow and wait time, and re-testing at 3 months after infection. CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of POC testing to improve STI service delivery requires careful consideration of both its advantages and limitations. The findings of this study will inform protocols for the implementation of CT/NG POC testing, and also STI testing and management guidelines.

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TTANGO is funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant # 109902. The Kirby Institute receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution to this work of the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program received by the Burnet Institute.


  • Journal: PLoS One
  • Published: 23/06/2014
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 6
  • Pagination: e100518