Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis infections and semen quality in 19,098 infertile men in China

World J Urol. 2016 Jul;34(7):1039-44. doi: 10.1007/s00345-015-1724-z. Epub 2015 Nov 4.


Objective: This study aimed to determine the incidence of Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis infections in infertile and fertile men and to investigate their effects on the semen quality. The study also aimed to analyze the drug susceptibility of UU and MH to provide guidance for reasonable antibiotic use.

Methods: A total of 19,098 semen specimens were obtained from infertile men at our hospital from January to December 2014. In addition to these specimens, 3368 semen specimens of sperm were obtained from donors at the sperm bank of our hospital from January 2011 to December 2014. Semen analysis was performed using the methods outlined by the World Health Organization.

Results: The prevalence of UU and MH significantly differed between infertile and fertile men. The mean progressive motility, total motility, and normal forms in the semen samples of infertile males positive for UU significantly differed from the corresponding values of uninfected men. However, the semen parameters did not differ between MH-infected and uninfected men. In the antibiotic sensitivity test, UU, MH, and UU mixed with MH were all found susceptible to doxycycline and josamycin with drug resistance rates below 6 %, but both species were highly resistant to ciprofloxacin.

Conclusions: Clinical assessment revealed a significant relationship between UU and MH infections and male infertility. UU was found to significantly affect sperm quality, but this was not the case with MH. Doxycycline and josamycin should be preferred for clinically treating UU and MH infections.

Keywords: Infection; Male infertility; Mycoplasma hominis; Susceptibility; Ureaplasma urealyticum.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infertility, Male / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycoplasma Infections / complications*
  • Mycoplasma Infections / epidemiology
  • Mycoplasma hominis* / drug effects
  • Semen Analysis*
  • Ureaplasma Infections / complications*
  • Ureaplasma Infections / epidemiology
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum* / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents