Advancements in Multiplex PCR for Comprehensive STI Testing

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) continue to be a global health concern, impacting millions of individuals every year. In many parts of the world, including the United States, there has been a concerning increase in reported cases of STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.


Prompt and accurate detection of STIs is crucial not only for individual health but also for public health efforts to control the spread of these infections. In recent years, advancements in diagnostic technology, particularly Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing, have streamlined STI testing. This blog explores the significance of Multiplex PCR in comprehensive STI testing, highlighting its advantages, applications, and the impact it has on women’s health.


Understanding Multiplex PCR


Multiplex PCR allows for simultaneous detection and identification of several pathogens within a single test. This technology has revolutionized the field of STI testing by offering the following advantages:


  1. Comprehensive Screening


One of the most significant advantages of Multiplex PCR is its ability to screen for multiple STIs in a single test. Traditionally, patients had to undergo separate tests for different pathogens, making the screening process time-consuming and potentially costly. With Multiplex PCR, healthcare providers can screen for a wide range of STIs simultaneously, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes simplex virus (HSV), and more. This comprehensive approach enables early detection and treatment of multiple infections, reducing the risk of complications. 


  1. Increased Sensitivity and Specificity


Multiplex PCR assays are highly sensitive and specific, meaning they can detect even low levels of pathogens while minimizing false-positive or false-negative results. This accuracy is crucial in STI testing, where early diagnosis is key to preventing complications and transmission.


  1. Faster Results


Traditional culture-based methods for STI testing often require several days to yield results. Multiplex PCR delivers rapid results, typically within a few hours to a day. This quick turnaround time allows for prompt treatment initiation and partner notification, reducing the spread of infections.


  1. Streamlined Testing Process


Multiplex PCR simplifies the testing process for both patients and healthcare providers. Patients can provide a single sample for comprehensive testing, reducing discomfort and inconvenience. Healthcare providers can efficiently assess a patient’s STI status and develop personalized treatment plans.


Applications in Women’s Health


Multiplex PCR’s impact on women’s health is substantial:


  1. Early Detection of Asymptomatic Infections

STIs, such as chlamydia can be asymptomatic and reinforce the need for rapid, simplified testing. Multiplex PCR identification of these infections allow for early intervention and reduce the risk  for long-term  complications.


  1. Improved Pregnancy Outcomes

Comprehensive STI testing through Multiplex PCR is essential for pregnant women. Untreated STIs during pregnancy can lead to  preterm birth and neonatal infections. Multiplex PCR ensures thorough screening and timely treatment to protect both the mother and the baby.


  1. Enhanced Preventive Strategies

Multiplex PCR not only aids in diagnosis but also supports sexual health programs that control STI rates and can mitigate spread of multidrug resistant infections. 




Advancements in Multiplex PCR have transformed the landscape of STI testing, offering a comprehensive, accurate, and efficient approach to sexual health. This technology plays a pivotal role in early detection, prevention, and management of STIs.. With Multiplex PCR, we are taking significant strides toward a healthier and safer future for all individuals at risk of STIs.


BioGX real-time PCR reagents for STI and Women’s Health are offered lyophilized in a variety of multiplex configurations to afford flexible workflow adoption by laboratories as per their testing needs. BioGX reagents have compatibility with open platforms including BD MAX™, ABI QuantStudio™, ABI 7500 Fast Dx, BioRAD CFX Touch™ and the BioGX pixl™. The multiplexes* are ready to be validated to run together with universal cycling conditions on a platform of choice.

BioGX in silico analysis of recent update on a surge of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant strains

BioGX continuously monitors the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants to ensure our market leading SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests will continue to detect emerging variants.

BioGX has completed in silico analysis of over 44,000 complete high coverage Omicron genomes of sublineages belonging to the EG.5, EG.5.1, BA.2.86, and XBB.1.9.1 (including FL.1.5.1) present in the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) EpiCoV™ database as of 31 August, 2023 (Table 1). Sequence analysis of the variant genomes was compared against the SARS-CoV-2 reference genome to identify any mutations within the regions of the nucleocapsid (N-gene), membrane (M-gene), and the coding region of the ORF1a gene (RdRp) targeted by BioGX products. In silico analysis and empirical testing confirmed any nucleotide mutations present at the time of this analysis will not affect the detection capability of the BioGX portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 products.

Table 1. Number of sequences analyzed for each Omicron sublineage available from GISAID as of 31 August 2023.

Omicron Sublineages Analyzed by BioGX

Omicron sublineage Nextstrain clade Emergence Location (Date) No. Sequences Present and Analyzed

(as of 31AUG2023)

BA.2.86 21L Denmark (JUL 2023) 26
EG.5 23D Denmark (MAR 2023) 1,227
EG.5.1 23F Indonesia (MAR 2023) 15,953
XBB.1.9.1* 23D Singapore (DEC 2022) 26,816

* Including FL.1.5.1

BioGX Expands Xfree Respiratory PCR With COVID-19/Flu A/Flu B Multiplex, Group A Streptococcus, Mycoplasma Pneumoniae

BIRMINGHAM, AL / ACCESSWIRE / September 7, 2023 / BioGX, a global provider of molecular diagnostic solutions, announces the availability of three new Xfree™ Direct-Sample-to-Answer PCR multiplexes for the detection of Group A Streptococcus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Flu A, Flu B, COVID-19 N1/RdRp. Xfree Flu A, Flu B, COVID-19 and Group A Streptococcus were previously CE-IVD marked while Mycoplasma pneumoniae is available as research use only. Laboratories can request custom manufactured formats for high-throughput use that may be validated for their intended use on a variety of real-time PCR platforms including, the BioGX pixl™, Applied Biosystems 7500, ThermoFisher QuantStudio and Bio-Rad CFX Touch.

Our Xfree chemistry has proven to be highly robust in our FDA-EUA COVID-19 test. We are excited to offer expanded respiratory panels to equip our customers with cost-effective, rapid PCR workflows,” said Shahin Iqbal, Ph.D., President & COO of BioGX.

Xfree technology provides a complete lyophilized test in a single tube in the trusted BioGX Sample-Ready format for extraction-free, direct sample addition real-time PCR testing. This format eliminates pre-treatment and nucleic acid extraction steps, enabling labs with a simple Sample-to-Answer workflow. The test can be shipped anywhere in the world without refrigeration.

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