High Prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium in the Lower Genitourinary Tract of Women Attending a Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic in Paris, France

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Background Previous studies have suggested that Mycoplasma genitalium is associated with cervicitis and may be a cause of pelvic inflammatory disease. This study attempted to investigate further the possible role of M genitalium in genital symptoms of women attending a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic.Goal To determine the prevalence of and the association of clinical and microbiologic features with M genitalium in women presenting with genital symptoms.Study Design Between April 1994 and June 1996 a prospective study of 170 consecutive women with abnormal vaginal discharge, with or without urethral itching, dysuria, or pelvic pain, was conducted at the STD clinic at Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris. Information was collected on each subject’s characteristics, and a clinical vulvar, vaginal, and cervical examination was performed. Cervical, vaginal, and urethral samples were obtained to identify infecting organisms.Results DNA of M genitalium was identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at one or more genital sites in 65 women (38%; 95% CI, 31–46%) and was statistically more frequently detected in the vagina (39%) than in the cervix (21%) or urethra (28%) (P = 0.001 and 0.048, respectively). PCR inhibitors were detected in 17 specimens (4%). M genitalium was found in 6/14 (43%) positive for Chlamydia trachomatis, but no significant association between M genitalium and any demographic, clinical, or microbiologic data was noted in univariable or multivariable analysis.Conclusion This study indicates that M genitalium is frequently encountered in the female genital tract and is not associated with cervicitis or any particular clinical or microbiologic data.

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