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Sex Transm Infect 83:237-241 doi:10.1136/sti.2006.022970
  • Epidemiology

Mycoplasma genitalium: prevalence and behavioural risk factors in the general population

  1. Berit Andersen1,
  2. Ineta Sokolowski1,
  3. Lars Østergaard2,
  4. Jens Kjølseth Møller3,
  5. Frede Olesen1,
  6. Jørgen Skov Jensen4
  1. 1Research Unit for General Practice, Vennelyst Boulevard 6, Aarhus C, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Infectious Diseases, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby Sygehus, Aarhus N, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Clinical Microbiologi, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby Sygehus, Aarhus N, Denmark
  4. 4Mycoplasma Laboratory, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, Copenhagen S, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr B Andersen
 Research Unit for General Practice, Vennelyst Boulevard 6, DK–8000 Aarhus C, Denmark; ba{at}alm.au.dk
  • Accepted 17 October 2006
  • Published Online First 7 November 2006

Abstract

Background:Mycoplasma genitalium has been shown to cause urethritis in men and cervicitis in women and may also be a causative agent in female infertility.

Objective: To estimate the prevalence of urogenital M genitalium infection and identify sexual behavioural risk factors in the general population.

Methods: Participating individuals were 731 men and 921 women aged 21–23 years and not seeking the healthcare system because of symptoms. They answered questionnaires on sexual behaviour and provided samples for M genitalium testing.

Results: In women aged 21–23 years, the prevalence of infection was 2.3% (21/921) and in men of the same age it was 1.1% (8/731). For both sexes, an increasing number of partners was associated with a greater chance of being infected. Among women a shorter duration of a steady relationship and having a partner with symptoms was associated with being infected, and for men younger age at first intercourse was associated with M genitalium infection.

Conclusions: We conclude that the prevalence of infection in the general population is too low for population-based screening. However, the development of test algorithms based on behavioural risk factors is a promising alternative.

Footnotes

  • Published Online First 6 November 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Contributors: BA initiated the study, was responsible for collecting samples and questionnaire data, participated in data analysis and wrote the manuscript. IS participated in planning the study, performed the statistical analysis of data and edited the manuscript. LO participated in planning the study, participated in collecting samples and questionnaire data and edited the manuscript. JKM participated in planning the study, participated in collecting samples and questionnaire data, was responsible for testing samples for Chlamydia trachomatis and edited the manuscript. FO participated in planning the study, participated in collecting samples and questionnaire data and edited the manuscript. JSJ participated in planning the study, was responsible for analysis of samples for Mycoplasma genitalium and edited the manuscript.

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