Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Testing for chlamydia is important because the infection can often be asymptomatic and, if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications.
Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs)
NAATs are highly sensitive and specific tests used to detect the genetic material (DNA or RNA) of Chlamydia trachomatis. These tests are usually performed on a urine sample or a swab from the affected area (e.g., urethra, cervix, rectum). NAATs are considered the gold standard for chlamydia testing due to their high accuracy.
It’s important to note that chlamydia testing may also include screening for other sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, as these infections often occur together. If you suspect you have been exposed to chlamydia or other sexually transmitted infections, it is recommended to seek testing and treatment from a healthcare professional.