A chlamydia test for males using first-void urine has proven effective in a study, and the rapidity of its results could offer patients same-day treatment, say British researchers.

Dr. Helen H. Lee of the University of Cambridge and colleagues evaluated the Chlamydia Rapid Test versus the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay among 1,211 men ages 16-73 at a sexual health center for young people and a genitourinary medicine clinic.

Compared with PCR assay, the rapid test identified 90 of 107 chlamydia infections in men, for a resolved positive predictive value of 84.1 percent and negative predictive value of 98.3 percent. Sensitivity and specificity were 82.6 percent and 98.5 percent, respectively.

"The organism load in first void urine samples that were positive for chlamydia ranged from 7.28x102 to 6.93x106 plasmids/ml and correlated significantly with the visual signal of the Chlamydia Rapid Test (r=0.7897, P<0.001)," the study authors found.

"This new test is both accurate and swift, allowing men attending the clinics to be tested and treated on site in one visit," said Lee, who developed the test. "Horror stories about painful swabs have put men off getting tested for chlamydia, and other non-invasive tests are expensive, technically complex and take days to obtain the result. This has led to many cases of infection in men going undiagnosed and being transmitted to their female partners, with potentially more serious complications."

Already approved in France, the new test will soon be available in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and other European countries, Lee said.

The study, "Performance Evaluation of a New Rapid Urine Test for Chlamydia in Men: Prospective Cohort Study," was published in the British Medical Journal (2009;doi:10.1136/bmj.b2655).