A Commentary on Current Diagnostic Challenges and Research Needs for Evaluating Reproductive Sequelae of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Academic Article


  • Advancing the understanding of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) requires access to advanced diagnostic approaches for evaluating reproductive sequelae of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Current limitations of clinical criteria and advanced imaging technologies for diagnosing reproductive sequelae make diagnosis and surveillance of PID a challenge. We summarize and comment on major challenges in diagnostic evaluation of reproductive sequelae: limited point-of-care clinical diagnostic options for reproductive sequelae, economic and geographical obstacles to accessing state-of-the-art diagnostics, an expanding list of STIs that may cause reproductive sequelae and the complexities in evaluating them, and the need for coordinated research efforts to systematically evaluate biomarkers with gold-standard, well-defined specimens and associated clinical data. The future use of biomarkers in readily accessible mucosal or blood-derived specimens as a noninvasive approach to determining STI etiologies may be fruitful and requires more research. Biomarkers under consideration include cytokines, STI-specific antibody responses, and mRNA transcriptional profiles of inflammatory markers.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kersh EN; Geisler WM
  • Start Page

  • S72
  • End Page

  • S74
  • Volume

  • 224