Purpose: Mycoplasma genitalium is a possible sexually transmitted pathogen and its study among the adolescent age group has been limited. In this longitudinal study, the epidemiology, natural history, and associated clinical findings of M. genitalium among adolescents in a primary care setting were explored.
Methods: A sample of 383 young women (14-17 years of age) and 117 male partners provided sexual behavior data and urogenital samples for polymerase chain reaction testing to detect M. genitalium, Chlamydia trachomatis, and other sexually transmitted infections. Women were tested quarterly for up to 27 months and, during every other quarter, tested weekly. The presence of any signs or symptoms of infection among the female subjects was also documented.
Results: Cumulatively, 13.6% (52/383) of women tested positive for M. genitalium. All women with M. genitalium, except one, were sexually experienced. M. genitalium was associated with number of sexual partners (p < .001) and C. trachomatis infection (p < .03). M. genitalium was more likely among male partners of M. genitalium-positive women (p < .02); 31.3% of untreated M. genitalium cases had infection lasting over 8 weeks. M. genitalium was not associated with the presence of clinical signs or symptoms of infection.
Conclusions: Findings support sexual transmissibility of M. genitalium and add to understanding of M. genitalium natural history and clinical findings.