J Bacteriol Virol.  2020 Mar;50(1):44-54. 10.4167/jbv.2020.50.1.044.

Evaluation of Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay for the Simultaneous Detection of Sexually Transmitted Infections Using Swab Specimen

  • 1Department of Biotechnology, The Catholic University of Korea, 43-1 Yeokgok 2-dong, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, 420-743, Korea. jhnam@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Research and Development, Genetree Research, Seoul, Korea.


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are caused by the spread of pathogens via sexual activity and can cause serious complications if left untreated, regardless of their symptoms. Therefore, early diagnosis of STI is important, and molecular diagnostic methods for rapid detection and monitoring are needed. In this study, we evaluated a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit for simultaneously detecting 13 different bacterial, fungal, and viral microorganisms that cause STIs. The kit performance was evaluated for its sensitivity, lot-to-lot variation, and interference in detecting different pathogens. Additionally, its clinical usefulness was evaluated by estimating its sensitivity and specificity for clinical samples. The limit of detection (LOD) was 0.021-50.104 copies for each pathogen. In the tests of lot-to-lot, 100% of positive samples were detected at low concentrations and negative samples all showed negative results. This result confirms that there is no the variation of lot-to-lot. In the test for interference between pathogens, the efficiency of amplification for each pathogen was not significantly reduced and no nonspecific amplification product was formed. We tested 322 vaginal swab samples using the multiplex PCR kit and confirmed that its clinical sensitivity and specificity were 100% for all pathogens. This multiplex PCR kit can be used widely for rapid diagnosis and monitoring of STIs.


evaluation; multiplex PCR; sexually transmitted infection

MeSH Terms

Early Diagnosis
Limit of Detection
Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction*
Pathology, Molecular
Sensitivity and Specificity
Sexual Behavior
Sexually Transmitted Diseases*
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