Viral and bacterial aetiologies of male urethritis: findings of a high prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus

Int J STD AIDS. 2010 Mar;21(3):191-4. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2009.009262.


Male urethritis is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, the aetiology is still unclear in many cases. In this study the prevalences of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, cytomegalovirus (CMV), adenovirus, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium and Ureaplasma urealyticum (including subtyping) were investigated. Samples from 112 male STI attendants with microscopically verified urethritis and from a control group of 103 men without clinical or microscopic signs of urethritis were analysed. Prevalences in the urethritis group compared with the controls were as follows: EBV 21%, 6% (P < 0.01); C. trachomatis 15%, 3% (P < 0.01); M. genitalium 6%, 1% (P = 0.067) and U. urealyticum 10%, 10% (ns). The results for HSV-1, HSV-2, CMV and adenovirus were negative in patients, and therefore not analysed in the controls. EBV was shown to be an independent predictor of urethritis and may play a role in its pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoplasma Infections / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Ureaplasma Infections / epidemiology
  • Urethritis / epidemiology*
  • Urethritis / microbiology
  • Urethritis / virology*