Two methods of self-sampling compared to clinician sampling to detect reproductive tract infections in Gugulethu, South Africa
van de Wijgert,Janneke; Altini,Lydia; Jones,Heidi E.; de Kock,Alana; Young,Taryn; Williamson,Anna Lise; Hoosen,Anwar; Coetzee,Nicol
Sexually Transmitted Diseases 33(8): 516-523
Publication date: 2006
To assess the validity, feasibility, and acceptability of 2 methods of self-sampling compared to clinician sampling during a speculum examination.
To improve screening for reproductive tract infections (RTIs) in resource-poor settings.
In a public clinic in Cape Town, 450 women underwent a speculum examination and were randomized to self-sample with either a tampon or vaginal swabs. All specimens were tested for the same pathogens using the same diagnostic tests.
Self-sampling resulted in satisfactory validity for N gonorrhoeae, C trachomatis, bacterial vaginosis, and Candida species (tampons and swabs) and high-risk human papillomavirus (swabs only) when tested with molecular tests or microscopy, but not for T vaginalis by culture. Self-sampling was feasible and acceptable, but some women preferred speculum examinations, which allow the clinician to view the vagina and cervix.
Although self-sampling should not replace speculum examinations in all circumstances, it should be explored further as an RTI screening strategy.