Background Mycoplasma genitalium (Mg) is an emerging sexually transmitted infection that has been associated with serious upper genital tract infections in women such as cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and endometritis. The burden of disease for Mg in Australia is unknown as there are no current population prevalence or incidence data.
Methods Women aged 16–25 years were recruited from sexual health clinics (SHC) and general practice clinics (GP) in South-Eastern Australia and consented to participate in a 12-month study providing vaginal swabs through the mail. Women were tested at 6-monthly intervals for chlamydia and Mg.
Results Overall, 1116 women were recruited from 29 clinics; with 79% of women retained at the conclusion of the study. The prevalence of Mg at recruitment was 2.4% (95% CI 1.5 to 3.3). Increased numbers of sexual partners was strongly associated with Mg (adjusted OR [AOR]=2.2; 95% CI 1.0 to 4.6), as was being recruited from SHC (AOR=3.4; 95% CI 1.5 to 5.3). Mg incidence was 1.2 per 100 women years (95% CI 0.7 to 2.1) and was associated with women recruited from SHC (HR=4.9; 95% CI 1.5 to 16.3) and having increased numbers of new sexual partners (HR=5.7; 95% CI 1.4 to 23.1). We found a median organism load of 1.4×103/5?L, which was 100 times less than that found in chlamydia positive samples. We also found an azithromycin failure rate of 15% (95% CI 3.2 to 37.9).
Conclusion Mg is common in young Australian women, and consistent with international studies, Mg was less prevalent than chlamydia.
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