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, 42 (10), 4636-40

High Prevalence of Genital Mycoplasmas Among Sexually Active Young Adults With Urethritis or Cervicitis Symptoms in La Crosse, Wisconsin

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High Prevalence of Genital Mycoplasmas Among Sexually Active Young Adults With Urethritis or Cervicitis Symptoms in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Michael J Schlicht et al. J Clin Microbiol.

Abstract

Sexually active young adults in the small college town of La Crosse, Wisconsin, were evaluated for conventional sexually transmitted pathogens and tested for infections with mycoplasmas. The prevalence in 65 symptomatic men or women and 137 healthy volunteers (67 men and 70 women) was compared. Urine specimens from both cohorts were tested by ligase chain reaction for Chlamydia trachomatis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In addition, the urethral or cervical swabs from the symptomatic subjects were tested by PCR for Mycoplasma genitalium and cultured for Mycoplasma hominis and the ureaplasmas. The results confirmed a relatively low prevalence of gonorrhea among symptomatic men (12%) and chlamydia among symptomatic men (15%) and normal women (3%). In contrast, infections with mycoplasmas, especially the ureaplasmas (57%), were common and the organisms were the only potential sexually transmitted pathogen detected in 40 (62%) symptomatic subjects. Because of the high prevalence, we also evaluated urethral swabs from an additional 25 normal female volunteers and recovered ureaplasmas from 4 (16%) subjects. Additionally, the participants rarely used protection during sexual intercourse and some symptomatic subjects apparently acquired their infections despite using condoms regularly. The findings demonstrate a strong association between abnormal urogenital findings and detection of myoplasmas, particularly ureaplasmas, and suggest the infections will remain common.

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