Researchers at the Johns Hopkins BioMEMS lab in Baltimore, Maryland have developed MobiLab, a battery-powered device the size of a coffee mug that detects the presence of chlamydia DNA in a genital swab sample. The user connects MobiLab to a smartphone and runs an app that enables him to configure and run the chlamydia DNA test. The creators demonstrated the results of MobiLab tests, which are identical to the prevailing laboratory test used to detect chlamydia today, the Gen-Probe Aptima Combo 2 assay. The cost of processing a MobiLab test is about $2, compared to about $10 a test for the Gen-Probe laboratory test.
MobiLab uses a highly-sensitive test method known as nucleic acid amplification testing, or NAAT. Until now, a NAAT test had to be performed in a laboratory because of the its complex procedures. MobiLab simplifies the process so that the test can be performed at a clinic, doctor’s office or other health care facility that’s more convenient to patients.
Increasing Chlamydia DNA Testing
Health care professionals are hopeful that when a device like MobiLab is approved, more people will have a chlamydia DNA test. Some people who have chlamydia don’t know they’re carrying the disease because they might not experience any symptoms. However, when chlamydia is left untreated, it can cause serious complications, especially for women. About 30 percent of women infected with chlamydia develop pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious disease that causes irreversible damage to the female reproductive system, infertility and crippling chronic pain.
The key to reducing the occurrence of chlamydia and other sexually-transmitted diseases is to have more high-risk individuals tested for the disease. The only way to know whether you have chlamydia is to have a chlamydia DNA test done. Soon, it might be even more convenient and less expensive to get a chlamydia test.
Anonymous Chlamydia Testing
Regardless of where you get tested, the results of your chlamydia DNA test are not confidential or anonymous. If you test positive for chlamydia, your name, address, birth date and other personal information is sent to the state health department, and states summarize the information and send it to other government agencies such as the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The health department follows up on each STD case reported to it by contacting or visiting patients at home to find out more about who her sexual partners are so they can be contacted.
If you don’t want the health department to ring your doorbell to talk to you about your positive chlamydia DNA test, you can follow the instructions in our free guide to get an anonymous chlamydia test and to get a treatment plan from a doctor if the test is positive. Delaying or avoiding a chlamydia DNA test only makes the complications more permanent and the disease more difficult to treat.