Anatomic distribution of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis and Mycoplasma genitalium infections in men who have sex with men

Sex Health. 2013 Jul;10(3):199-203. doi: 10.1071/SH12092.


Background: New cases of gonorrhoea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) and chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) infections have been steadily increasing in Scandinavian countries over the last decade. There is a particular urgency in reducing new infections as isolation of multiple drug resistant strains of gonorrhoea is becoming more frequent. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and sites of infection of common sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in men who have sex with men (MSM).

Methods: We have performed a retrospective analysis of the three major STIs, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and Mycoplasma genitalium in urogenital, anorectal and oropharyngeal samples from MSM that attended two STI clinics in Oslo.

Results: One hundred and thirty-six men (6.0%) out of 2289 MSM tested were found to be positive for gonorrhoea using a porA gene targeted nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Of these, 106 (77.9%) would not have been identified through testing first-void urine alone. Two hundred and twenty eight (10.0%) patients from 2289 tested were found to be positive for chlamydia, 164 (71.9%) of which were identified through anorectal specimens. Ninety-one (5.1%) patients from 1778 tested were found to be positive for M. genitalium, with 65 (71.4%) identified through testing of anorectal specimens.

Conclusions: Our results supports the European findings that the MSM population carries a high burden of STIs and that testing the anorectum and oropharynx will identify a significantly higher percentage of infected patients and reservoirs of STIs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Genitalia, Male / microbiology
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Gonorrhea / epidemiology
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mycoplasma Infections / diagnosis*
  • Mycoplasma Infections / epidemiology
  • Mycoplasma genitalium / isolation & purification*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification*
  • Norway
  • Oropharynx / microbiology
  • Prevalence
  • Rectum / microbiology