Clinical validation of the aptima bacterial vaginosis and aptima Candida/Trichomonas vaginitis assays: Results from a prospective multicenter clinical study

Jane R. Schwebke, Stephanie N. Taylor, Ronald Ackerman, Robert Schlaberg, Neil B. Quigley, Charlotte A. Gaydos, Steven E. Chavoustie, Paul Nyirjesy, Carmelle V. Remillard, Philip Estes, Byron McKinney, Damon K. Getman, Craig Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Infectious vaginitis due to bacterial vaginosis (BV), vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), and Trichomonas vaginalis accounts for a significant proportion of all gynecologic visits in the United States. A prospective multicenter clinical study was conducted to validate the performance of two new in vitro diagnostic transcriptionmediated amplification nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for diagnosis of BV, VVC, and trichomoniasis. Patient- and clinician-collected vaginal-swab samples obtained from women with symptoms of vaginitis were tested with the Aptima BV and Aptima Candida/Trichomonas vaginitis (CV/TV) assays. The results were compared to Nugent (plus Amsel for intermediate Nugent) scores for BV, Candida cultures and DNA sequencing for VVC, and a composite of NAAT and culture for T. vaginalis. The prevalences of infection were similar for clinician- and patient-collected samples: 49% for BV, 29% for VVC due to the Candida species group, 4% for VVC due to Candida glabrata, and 10% for T. vaginalis. Sensitivity and specificity estimates for the investigational tests in clinician-collected samples were 95.0% and 89.6%, respectively, for BV; 91.7% and 94.9% for the Candida species group; 84.7% and 99.1% for C. glabrata; and 96.5% and 95.1% for T. vaginalis. Sensitivities and specificities were similar in patient-collected samples. In a secondary analysis, clinicians' diagnoses, inclinic assessments, and investigational-assay results were compared to gold standard reference methods. Overall, the investigational assays had higher sensitivity and specificity than clinicians' diagnoses and in-clinic assessments, indicating that the investigational assays were more predictive of infection than traditional diagnostic methods. These results provide clinical-efficacy evidence for two in vitro diagnostic NAATs that can detect the main causes of vaginitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01643-19
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Amsel criteria
  • Aptima
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Candidiasis
  • Clinician's diagnosis
  • Diagnostic accuracy
  • Molecular test
  • Nugent score
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity
  • Trichomoniasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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