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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Rapid screening for Chlamydia trachomatis infection by detecting α-mannosidase activity in urogenital tract specimens

Ze-yu Wang1, Guang-yu Fu1, Shan-mei Wang2, Dong-chun Qin3, Zhong-quan Wang1 and Jing Cui1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pathogen Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450001, China

2 Department of Clinical Laboratory, Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, Zhengzhou, 450003, China

3 Department of Clinical Laboratory, First Affiliated Hospital, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450052, China

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Citation and License

BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:36  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-36

Published: 24 January 2013



Chlamydia trachomatis may cause multiple different urogenital tract disorders, but current non-culture assays for rapid screening of C. trachomatis typically use immunochromatography-based methods. We established another new rapid non-culture method for detection of C. trachomatis based on the measurement of α-mannosidase enzymatic activity in urogenital tract specimens.


To evaluate the performance of this method, α-mannosidase activities of C. trachomatis serotype D strain 、 and 29 standard strains related to clinical urogenital pathogens were investigated. Furthermore, 553 urogenital tract specimens were used for clinical assays via cell culture method and ligase chain reaction method (LCR), adopting an expanded gold standard.


Only C. trachomatis was positive for α-mannosidase activity among different types of microbes tested in the research. When prostate fluid specimens, which have some interfering activity, were excluded, the sensitivity and specificity of the enzymatic method were 91.8% (78/85) and 98.3% (409/416), respectively. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05).


These results showed that α-mannosidase activity could be utilised as a screening marker of C. trachomatis infection.

Chlamydia trachomatis; α-mannosidase; Activity; Gold standard; Marker