Association of Mycoplasma genitalium with nongonococcal urethritis in heterosexual men

J Infect Dis. 2001 Jan 15;183(2):269-276. doi: 10.1086/317942. Epub 2000 Dec 21.


Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are universally acknowledged as urethral pathogens, yet the etiology in the majority of cases of urethritis is unclear. Our case-control study assessed the association of Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and other potential pathogens with acute nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) in heterosexual men presenting to an urban sexually transmitted diseases clinic. M. genitalium was detected in 27 (22%) of 121 NGU case patients and in 5 (4%) of 117 control subjects (P<.01). Although C. trachomatis was detected in 36 (30%) of 121 NGU case patients and in 4 (3%) of 117 control subjects (P<.01), only 3 men with NGU were infected with both C. trachomatis and M. genitalium. U. urealyticum was not associated with NGU. By multivariate analyses, controlling for age, race, history of prior urethritis, and chlamydial infection, M. genitalium was associated with a 6.5-fold increased risk of urethritis (95% confidence interval, 2.1-19.5), which supports a role of this organism in the etiology of NGU.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • Genital Diseases, Male / microbiology*
  • Heterosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoplasma / genetics
  • Mycoplasma / isolation & purification*
  • Mycoplasma Infections / microbiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum / isolation & purification
  • Urethritis / microbiology*
  • Urine / microbiology