Method comparison for molecular typing of French and Tunisian Mycoplasma genitalium-positive specimens

J Med Microbiol. 2012 Apr;61(Pt 4):500-506. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.037721-0. Epub 2011 Dec 8.


In this study, 76 French and Tunisian urogenital specimens were subjected to molecular typing by using the two main Mycoplasma genitalium molecular typing methods, the mgpB single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing method and the combination analysis of a variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) marker in MG309 and mgpB SNP. Furthermore, we tried to develop a multiple-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) method. The genome of M. genitalium G37(T) was analysed for VNTRs and four VNTRs were used for an MLVA. The method, applied directly on clinical specimens, was based on a genescan analysis of VNTR loci labelled with fluorescent dyes by using multiplex PCR and capillary electrophoresis. This method had a 1.00 diversity index (DI) while the mgpB SNP typing and the combination of MG309 and mgpB SNPs had DIs of 0.853 and 0.989, respectively. However, among the sets of two concurrent specimens, taken at the same time from the urogenital tracts of 12 patients, only nine had matching MLVA profiles, while the two other methods gave identical profiles for all specimens amplified, except for one set. Moreover, eight new sequence types were described with the mgpB SNP typing method. The three molecular typing methods revealed a genetic heterogeneity, suggesting that M. genitalium was endemic in France and Tunisia and that the infections were not due to the clonal dissemination of one strain. Comparison of the typing results obtained with the three methods showed that the MLVA assay seemed too discriminatory to be used in future studies of sexual networks of M. genitalium infection. According to the discriminatory power and the feasibility of each mgpB-based method, we recommend that the mgpB analysis be used for general epidemiological studies and that the combination of MG309-STR and mgpB SNP methods should be used for sexual-network studies of M. genitalium infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Typing / methods*
  • Mycoplasma Infections / epidemiology
  • Mycoplasma Infections / microbiology*
  • Mycoplasma genitalium / classification*
  • Mycoplasma genitalium / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Tunisia / epidemiology

Associated data

  • GENBANK/HM565865
  • GENBANK/HM565866
  • GENBANK/HM565867
  • GENBANK/HM565868
  • GENBANK/HM565869
  • GENBANK/HM565870
  • GENBANK/HM565871
  • GENBANK/HM565872