Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are among the most common communicable diseases globally and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Point-of-care tests have the potential to revolutionize the prevention and control of STIs by enabling rapid diagnosis and early treatment of infections, thus interrupting transmission and preventing the sequelae of untreated infections. Currently, there are several point-of-care (POC) tests available for the diagnosis of Treponema pallidum, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis infections, although these tests differ with regard to their performance, turnaround time, and cost.
To provide an updated review of the POC tests available and under development for the diagnosis of T pallidum, C trachomatis, N gonorrhoeae, and T vaginalis infections, to discuss the context for which these tests might be used, and to highlight future directions for test development.
We reviewed the literature pertaining to the recent development and performance evaluations of POC tests for the diagnosis of syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas.
Recently, there has been rapid development of new POC tests for STIs. Although there are inexpensive, rapid, and accurate POC tests available for syphilis, there are few such tests available for the diagnosis of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomonas, and currently none with the ability to detect antimicrobial resistance in N gonorrhoeae. Research evaluating implementation strategies for the currently available tests and the development of additional POC tests that are rapid, accurate, and affordable are urgently needed to address the rising number of STIs worldwide.
Dr Loeffelholz is an employee and receives salary from Cepheid. Dr Klausner is a member of the Cepheid advisory board. Dr Adamson has no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.