The spread of Mycoplasma genitalium among men who have sex with men

Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Venhälsan, Stockholm, Sweden.
International Journal of STD & AIDS (Impact Factor: 1.05). 06/2012; 23(6):455-6. DOI: 10.1258/ijsa.2009.009411
Source: PubMed


We report two instances of urethral-to-rectal transmission of Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) in men who have sex with men (MSM) couples. Such clear epidemiological correlation has to our knowledge not been published before. The urethral infections led to clinical symptoms, but the rectal infections did not. The rectum might serve as a reservoir for MG in MSM, but there is also some evidence from the literature that MG can cause proctitis. Our finding raises important questions about the role of MG as a pathogen among MSM. Any correlation with HIV transmission risk is currently unknown and needs further research.

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    ABSTRACT: This article summarizes the epidemiologic evidence linking Mycoplasma genitalium to sexually transmitted disease syndromes, including male urethritis, and female cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and adverse birth outcomes. It discusses the relationship of this bacterium to human immunodeficiency virus infection and reviews the available literature on the efficacy of standard antimicrobial therapies against M genitalium.
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    ABSTRACT: Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted infection that causes significant morbidity in men and women and is a co-factor in HIV transmission. However, commercial diagnostic tests are not generally available for M. genitalium and sub-optimal treatment is often given. We review the literature on the burden of infection, how it may present in clinical practice and the effectiveness of current treatment regimens. In-vivo and in-vitro data strongly suggest that M. genitalium is an important cause of urethritis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and potentially asymptomatic proctitis. Studies now consistently demonstrate suboptimal eradication rates with the current treatment regimens recommended first line for the treatment of nongonococcal urethritis. Concurrently, there has been a rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance in M. genitalium, with macrolide resistance now appearing to be endemic in some centres, and quinolone resistance is beginning to emerge. In the absence of specific M. genitalium diagnostic and antimicrobial resistance testing, azithromycin 1 g should not be used for the management of patients with symptomatic disease potentially caused by M. genitalium. This review offers an alternative evidence-based approach to managing such patients that should, theoretically, reduce the risk of the development of antimicrobial resistance.
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    ABSTRACT: Proctitis is defined as an inflammatory syndrome of the distal 10-12 cm of the anal canal, also called the rectum. Infectious proctitis can be sexually transmitted via genital-anal mucosal contact, but some also via mutual masturbation. N. gonorrhoea, C. trachomatis (including lymphogranuloma venereum), Herpes Simples Virus and T. pallidum are the most common sexually transmitted anorectal pathogens. Shigellosis can be transferred via oral-anal contact and may lead to proctocolitis or enteritis. Although most studies on these infections have concentrated on men who have sex with men (MSM), a significant proportion of women have anal intercourse and therefore may also be at risk. A presumptive clinical diagnosis of proctitis can be made when there are symptoms and signs, and a definitive diagnosis when the results of laboratory tests are available. The symptoms of proctitis include itching, pain, cramps (tenismus) and discharge in and around the anal canal. Asymptomatic proctitis occurs frequently and can only be shown by laboratory tests. The majority of rectal chlamydia and gonococcal infections are asymptomatic. Therefore when there is a history of receptive anal contact, exclusion of anorectal infections is generally indicated as part of standard screening for sexually transmitted infections (STI). Condom use does not guarantee protection from bacterial and protozoan STIs, which are often spread without penile penetration.
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