Objectives: We sought to determine the prevalence of and risk factors associated with Mycoplasma genitalium infection in a nationally representative sample of young adults in the United States.
Methods: Urine specimens from 1714 women and 1218 men who participated in Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N=14322) were tested for M genitalium. Poststratification sampling weights were used to generate nationally representative estimates.
Results: The prevalence of M genitalium was 1.0% compared with 0.4%, 4.2%, and 2.3% for gonococcal, chlamydial, and trichomonal infections, respectively. No M genitalium-positive individuals reported symptoms of discharge. M genitalium prevalence among those who reported vaginal intercourse was 1.1% compared with 0.05% among those who did not. In multivariate analyses, M genitalium prevalence was 11 times higher among respondents who reported living with a sexual partner, 7 times higher among Blacks, and 4 times higher among those who used condoms during their last vaginal intercourse. Prevalence of M genitalium increased by 10% for each additional sexual partner.
Conclusions: M genitalium was more prevalent than Neisseria gonorrhoeae but less prevalent than Chlamydia trachomatis, and it was strongly associated with sexual activity.