Objectives: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the time to a Mycoplasma genitalium-negative test after start of treatment and to monitor if and when antibiotic resistance developed.
Methods: Sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic attendees with suspected or verified M. genitalium infection were treated with azithromycin (5 days, 1.5 g; n = 85) or moxifloxacin (n = 5). Subjects with symptomatic urethritis or cervicitis of unknown aetiology were randomized to either doxycycline (n = 49) or 1 g of azithromycin as a single dose (n = 51). Women collected vaginal specimens and men collected first-catch urine 12 times during 4 weeks. Specimens were tested for M. genitalium with a quantitative MgPa PCR and for macrolide resistance-mediating mutations with a PCR targeting 23S rRNA.
Clinical trials registration: NCT01661985.
Results: Ninety M. genitalium cases were enrolled. Of 56 patients with macrolide-susceptible strains before treatment with azithromycin (1.5 g, n = 46; 1 g single oral dose, n = 10), 54 (96%) had a negative PCR test within 8 days. In four patients, M. genitalium converted from macrolide susceptible to resistant after a 10 day lag time with negative tests (azithromycin 1.5 g, n = 3; 1 g single oral dose, n = 1). Moxifloxacin-treated subjects (n = 4) were PCR negative within 1 week. Six of eight (75%) remained positive despite doxycycline treatment.
Conclusions: PCR for M. genitalium rapidly became negative after azithromycin treatment. Macrolide-resistant strains were detected after initially negative tests. Test of cure should be recommended no earlier than 3-4 weeks.
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