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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Diagnosis of Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Trichomonas vaginalis and Mycoplasma genitalium: an observational study of testing patterns, prevalence and co-infection rates in northern New Zealand

Arlo Upton A D , Liselle Bissessor A , Peter Lowe B , Xiaoying Wang C and Gary McAuliffe A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Microbiology Department, Labtests, 31 – 41 Carbine road, Auckland 2022, New Zealand.

B Hologic (Australia) Pty Ltd, Suite 402, Level 4, 2 Lyon Park Road, Macquarie Park NSW 2113, Australia.

C Hologic, Clinical Affair Department, Grifols Diagnostic Solutions Inc., 10210 Genetic Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

D Corresponding author. Email: arlo.upton@labtests.co.nz

Sexual Health - https://doi.org/10.1071/SH17110
Submitted: 21 June 2017  Accepted: 3 October 2017   Published online: 21 December 2017

Abstract

Background: This study sought to determine community prevalence, epidemiology and testing patterns for sexually transmissible infections (STI) in northern New Zealand. Methods: A total of 2643 samples submitted for STI testing between 26 November 2015 and 7 December 2015 underwent analysis by Aptima Combo 2 (Hologic, San Diego, CA, USA), Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), and Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) assays. Results were analysed by patient demographics. Results: Four hundred and eleven pathogens were detected from 359 patients, with Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), TV, and MG detected in 178 (6.7%), 19 (0.7%), 80 (3%) and 134 (5.1%) samples respectively. With the exception of TV, STI prevalence was highest in people <25 years of age. Infection was more common in men for NG (odds ratio (OR) 5.05, P < 0.001) and CT (OR 2.72, P < 0.001). Māori and Pacific ethnicity were associated with increased risk of MG (OR 1.82, P = 0.006,) TV (OR 6.1, P < 0.001) and CT (OR 3.31, P < 0.001) infection, and TV and NG infections were more prevalent as social deprivation increased. A mismatch between testing rates and prevalence of infection was seen, with fewer tests performed for males (OR 0.2, P < 0.001) than females and no difference in testing of Māori and Pacific men (3064/100 000) compared with men of European background (3181/100 000, OR 0.96, P = 0.76), despite an increased risk of disease. Conclusions: There are disparately low testing rates for STIs in certain high-risk groups in northern New Zealand.


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