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Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

Ninja Bugs

By July 18, 2010

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Two years ago I wrote about a novel form of chlamydia that had appeared in Sweden - one that could elude many of the common tests for the disease. Although direct culture would still be able to detect infections caused by the Swedish bug, such tests are becoming less common as more doctors move to easier to perform DNA amplification techniques - such as urine based LCR. That's why I was so excited to read that a new test has been approved that can not only detect the ninja-chlamydia in urine and other samples but also look for gonorrhea at the same time.

It's important for people to remember that STDs and other diseases are constantly evolving. This can lead to problems not only with testing, but with antibiotic resistance and treatment. Even the most well designed tests aren't perfect - and it can be useful to remember that this isn't necessarily the designers' fault. Biological systems are slippery targets, so it behooves people to put some effort into keeping themselves safe.

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