Assessment of STI screening in Romania using a multiplex PCR technique.J Infect Dev Ctries. 2020 Apr 30; 14(4):341-348.JI
Most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are curable, but inappropriate treatment can lead to serious complications. The importance of setting up STI screening programs has been highlighted in various studies, the absence of such national programs accounting for the lack of STI statistics in Romania. The purpose of our study was to evaluate multiplex PCR as a screening method for the most common 6 STIs and establish their frequency in a group of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. We aimed to highlight STI associations and correlations between STI pathogens and symptomatology, demographic status, antecedents or sexual partners.
A total of 249 patients, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, were included in this study. Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseia gonorrhoeae (NG), Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU), Mycoplasma hominis (MH) and Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) were all identified in urine samples via multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The SPSS IBM program was employed for statistical analysis.
32.12% of the patients were found positive, some presenting multiple infections. The results are representative for the Romanian male population. 107 STI pathogens were identified, most frequent being CT, UU and NG. Several statistical correlations between patient characteristics and the presence of STIs have been demonstrated.
The results suggest that multiplex PCR meets all the prerequisites for a screening method, allowing the use of multiple specimens and enabling simultaneous detection of multiple pathogens in a short period of time. STI identification via multiplex PCR proved to be an effective method for quantifying their frequency in Romania.