Detection of sexually transmitted disease–causing pathogens from direct clinical specimens with the multiplex PCR-based STD Direct Flow Chip Kit

  • Antonio Barrientos-Durán
  • Adolfo de Salazar
  • Marta Alvarez-Estévez
  • Ana Fuentes-López
  • Beatriz Espadafor
  • Federico GarciaEmail author
Original Article


Pathogens causing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) include viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The ability to rapidly and efficiently detect these pathogens in a single reaction still remains a health challenge. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical reliability and accuracy of the STD Direct Flow Chip Kit (Vitro, IVD-EC approved), which can simultaneously detect up to 9 different species of STD pathogens at once. This kit enables direct analysis—direct-PCR—of clinical specimens (urine, semen, endocervical, urethral, nasopharyngeal, and perianal swabs) without DNA purification for the following pathogens: Chlamydia trachomatis (serovars A-K and L1-L3), Haemophilus ducreyi, Herpes Simplex Virus (Types I and II), Mycoplasma genitalium, Mycoplasma hominis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Treponema pallidum, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Ureaplasma. The Anyplex™ II STI-7 Detection Kit (Seegene, IVD-EC) was used as the reference’s method. Existing discordances were resolved using either a third molecular assay or DNA sequencing. Clinical performance was evaluated at two different stages: (i) from purified DNA of three hundred and fifty-eight clinical specimens with a diagnostic sensitivity (SE) and specificity (SP) of 99.4% and 100%, respectively, and an agreement of 99% (kappa index, κ = 0.97) with the reference’s method and; (ii) by direct-PCR from six hundred and thirty-three specimens rendering SE, SP, and agreement values of 98.4%, 99.9%, and 98.0% (κ = 0.95), respectively. The STD Direct Flow Chip Kit constitutes a promising alternative to routine procedures in diagnostic, allowing direct analysis of specimens and enabling the detection of a broad panel of pathogens.


Clinical specimens Direct analysis DNA: DNA hybridization Multiplex-PCR based Sexually transmitted diseases 



The results published here are part of the thesis´s work, of the PhD candidate Adolfo de Salazar, in the Biomedicine Doctoral Program of the University of Granada.

Compliance with ethical standards

Vitro provided kits and reagents for testing. The Ethics Committee of the Hospital San Cecilio approved the study protocol. All the clinical specimens were received in the Microbiology laboratory for routine diagnostics and anonymized prior testing.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Servicio de Microbiología. Instituto de Investigación ibs.GRANADAHospital Universitario Clínico San CecilioGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Servicio de Dermatología. Centro de ETS.Hospital Universitario Virgen de las NievesGranadaSpain

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