Assessment of Chlamydia trachomatis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Ureaplasma parvum, Mycoplasma hominis, and Mycoplasma genitalium in semen and first void urine specimens of asymptomatic male partners of infertile couples

J Androl. Mar-Apr 2008;29(2):198-206. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.107.003566. Epub 2007 Dec 12.


The purpose of this study was threefold: to compare semen and first void urine (FVU) specimens from asymptomatic infertile men for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis, genital ureaplasma, and genital mycoplasma infections using in-house inhibitor-controlled polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-microtiter plate hybridization assay; to determine the prevalence of those organisms in infertile men in Tunisia; and to study the relationship between these bacteria and male infertility. Paired urine and semen specimens from 104 patients were examined by in-house PCR for the presence of DNA of Chlamydia trachomatis, genital ureaplasmas (Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum) and genital mycoplasmas (Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma genitalium). Semen analysis was assessed according to the guidelines of the World Health Organization. Nominal scale variables, the Mann-Whitney test, and the Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric analysis of variance test were used for statistical analysis. There was a very high concordance (>95%) and a very good agreement (kappa > 0.9) between the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis, genital ureaplasmas, and Mycoplasma hominis in semen and corresponding FVU specimens. Our findings also show a high concordance (81.1%) and a good agreement (kappa = 0.79) between the detection of Mycoplasma genitalium in both specimens. C trachomatis, genital mycoplasmas, and genital ureaplasmas were found to be widespread among infertile male patients in Tunisia, as shown by their respective prevalences of 43.3%, 18.3%, and 14.4%. The mean values of seminal volume, sperm concentration, sperm viability, sperm motility, sperm morphology, and leukocyte count were not significantly related either to the detection of C trachomatis DNA or to that of genital ureaplasma or mycoplasma DNA in semen specimens. Using our in-house PCR, both semen and FVU were found to be sensitive diagnostic specimens for the detection of C trachomatis, ureaplasmas, and mycoplasmas. The FVU, a less invasive and self-collected specimen, can serve as a marker for the presence of these organisms in the genital tract and can be used as a reliable way of detecting asymptomatic carriers of infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / microbiology*
  • Infertility, Male / urine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoplasma genitalium / isolation & purification*
  • Mycoplasma hominis / isolation & purification*
  • Semen / chemistry
  • Semen / microbiology*
  • Ureaplasma / isolation & purification*
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum / isolation & purification*


  • DNA, Bacterial