Syphilis (lues) is caused by bacteria (Treponema pallidum) and very easily transmitted. On the other hand, it usually can be controlled with antibiotics. If left untreated, this bacterial infection may, however, lead to severe damages to nerves and organs, and eventually result in deafness, blindness, and mental deterioration. If infection occurs during pregnancy, the disease can be transmitted to the unborn child and may cause severe health damages. In Germany, an increasing number of syphilis infections has been observed. Infection with the syphilis pathogen can be detected by means of blood tests.
The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis causes inflammation of the urethra (urethritis), the genitals and/or the rectum as well as of the throat. If chlamydia infection is left untreated, it can spread throughout the body and lead to infertility. In order to detect chlamydia infections, body fluids such as urine or semen and swab samples (collected from throat or rectum), respectively, are tested for the presence of chlamydia genes (PCR testing). This type of detection technique allows for the identification of smallest amounts of pathogens in the sample material. The detection of Chlamydia trachomatis is also included in our Multiplex-PCR test procedure.
Testing for gonorrhoea (clap)
The clap is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It leads to purulent inflammation of the urethra (urethritis), the genitals and/or the rectum as well as of the throat. If left untreated, the so-called gonococci can spread throughout the body. The infection of a child during delivery is possible. In order to prevent late complications of gonococci infections, timely treatment with antibiotics is required. The infection is detected by identifying genetic material of the gonococci in urine or swab samples (collected from throat or rectum) using the PCR test procedure. Due to the high sensitivity of PCR testing, smallest amounts of pathogens in sample materials are sufficient for detection. The detection of gonococci is also included in our Multiplex-PCR test procedure.
Multiplex-PCR for sexually transmitted infections (STI)
If testing for just one pathogen is conducted, other infections might remain undetected. Multiple infections with multiple pathogens may occur particularly with sexually transmitted infections. By using the Multiplex-PCR test procedure, all relevant pathogens of sexually transmitted infections can be simultaneously detected in a single urine or swab sample. The procedure has been designed to detect the following pathogens:
• Chlamydia trachomatis
• Neisseria gonorrhoeae
• Mycoplasma genitalium
• Mycoplasma hominis
• Ureaplasma urealyticum
• Ureaplasma parvum
• Trichomonas vaginalis
Additionally in swab samples:
• Herpes simplex virus (type 1+2)
Both types of liver inflammation – hepatitis B and C – are caused by viruses. Transmission routes of the infection include blood and injections as well as unprotected sexual intercourse. A vaccine against hepatitis B is available. As a consequence of acute stages of the disease, “jaundice” (icterus, yellow skin colouration) may develop. However, this is not always the case, so that the disease often remains undetected. If inflammation becomes chronic, it may lead to liver cirrhosis (replacement of normal liver tissue by scar tissue) or hepatic cancer. Particularly the hepatitis B virus can be transmitted to unborn children during pregnancy. Today, reliable therapies are available for the treatment of hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis viruses are detected by using blood tests.
HIV is a virus that harms the body’s defences and may eventually lead to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Today, very powerful drugs are available to treat HIV and prevent the outbreak of AIDS. However, it is crucial that treatment is initiated timely. While the body’s immune system produces HIV antibodies that can be detected only several weeks after infection, certain virus components (antigens) can be detected at an earlier point in time. By combining the detection of both antibodies and antigens, our highly sensitive HIV search test allows for a reliable detection and exclusion, respectively, of HIV in the blood as early as 6 weeks following a risk contact. By means of HIV-PCR, even smallest amounts of HI viruses can be directly detected in the blood. This test can be used as early as in week 3 (> day 15) after potential infection. For more information about the different HIV test procedures, please click here.