The first European Quality Control Concerted Action study was organized to assess the ability of laboratories to detect Chlamydia trachomatis in a panel of urine samples by nucleic acid amplification tests (NATs). The panel consisted of lyophilized urine samples, including three negative, two strongly positive, and five weakly positive samples. Ninety-six laboratories in 22 countries participated with a total of 102 data sets. Of 204 strongly positive samples 199 (97.5%) were correctly reported, and of 506 weakly positive samples 466 (92.1%) were correctly reported. In 74 (72.5%) data sets correct results were reported on all samples, and 17 data sets (16.7%) showed either one false-negative or one false-positive result. In another 11 data sets, two or more incorrect results were reported, and two data sets reported a false-positive result on one negative sample. The Roche COBAS Amplicor test was performed in 44 (43%) data sets, the Abbott LCx assay was performed in 31 (30%) data sets, the Roche Amplicor manual assay was performed in 9 (9%) data sets, an in-house PCR was performed in 9 (9%) data sets, the Becton Dickinson ProbeTec ET assay was performed in 5 (4.9%) data sets, and the GenProbe TMA assay was performed in 4 (3.9%) data sets. The results of the Roche Amplicor manual (95.6% correct), COBAS Amplicor (97.0%), and Abbott LCx (94.8%) tests were comparable (P = 0.48). The results with the in-house PCR, BD ProbeTec ET, and GenProbe TMA tests were reported correctly in 88.6, 98, and 92.5% of the tests, respectively. Freeze-drying of clinical urine specimens proved to be a successful method for generating standardized, stable, and easy-to-transport samples for the detection of C. trachomatis by using NATs. Although the results, especially the specificity, for this proficiency panel were better than most quality control studies, sensitivity problems occurred frequently, underlining the need for good laboratory practice and reference reagents to monitor the performance of these assays.

*Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods/standards, Chlamydia Infections/*microbiology, Chlamydia trachomatis/genetics/*isolation & purification, European Union, Freeze Drying, Humans, International Cooperation, Laboratories, Quality Control, Reagent Kits, Diagnostic, Reproducibility of Results, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Sensitivity and Specificity, Urine/*microbiology
hdl.handle.net/1765/10188
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verkooyen, R.P.A.J, Noordhoek, G.T, Klapper, P.E, Reid, J, Schirm, J, Cleator, G.M, … Hoddevik, G. (2003). Reliability of nucleic acid amplification methods for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in urine: results of the first international collaborative quality control study among 96 laboratories. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/10188