Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 7 (5), e1001324

Mycoplasma Genitalium: An Emerging Cause of Sexually Transmitted Disease in Women

Affiliations
Review

Mycoplasma Genitalium: An Emerging Cause of Sexually Transmitted Disease in Women

Chris L McGowin et al. PLoS Pathog.

Abstract

Mycoplasma genitalium is an emerging sexually transmitted pathogen implicated in urethritis in men and several inflammatory reproductive tract syndromes in women including cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and infertility. This comprehensive review critically examines epidemiologic studies of M. genitalium infections in women with the goal of assessing the associations with reproductive tract disease and enhancing awareness of this emerging pathogen. Over 27,000 women from 48 published reports have been screened for M. genitalium urogenital infection in high- or low-risk populations worldwide with an overall prevalence of 7.3% and 2.0%, respectively. M. genitalium was present in the general population at rates between those of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Considering more than 20 studies of lower tract inflammation, M. genitalium has been positively associated with urethritis, vaginal discharge, and microscopic signs of cervicitis and/or mucopurulent cervical discharge in seven of 14 studies. A consistent case definition of cervicitis is lacking and will be required for comprehensive understanding of these associations. Importantly, evidence for M. genitalium PID and infertility are quite convincing and indicate that a significant proportion of upper tract inflammation may be attributed to this elusive pathogen. Collectively, M. genitalium is highly prevalent in high- and low-risk populations, and should be considered an etiologic agent of select reproductive tract disease syndromes in women.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 60 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. World Health Organization. Sexually transmitted infections fact sheet. 2007. Available: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs110/en/. Accessed 22 April 2011.
    1. Manhart LE, Holmes KK, Hughes JP, Houston LS, Totten PA. Mycoplasma genitalium among young adults in the United States: an emerging sexually transmitted infection. Am J Public Health. 2007;97:1118–1125. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Tully JG, Taylor-Robinson D, Cole RM, Rose DL. A newly discovered mycoplasma in the human urogenital tract. Lancet. 1981;1:1288–1291. - PubMed
    1. Jensen JS. Mycoplasma genitalium: the aetiological agent of urethritis and other sexually transmitted diseases. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2004;18:1–11. - PubMed
    1. Martin DH. Nongonococcal urethritis: new views through the prism of modern molecular microbiology. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2008;10:128–132. - PubMed

Publication types

MeSH terms

Feedback