Background The purpose of this study was to examine the origins of repeat infections with Mg among men. High repeat infection rates have been consistently reported and treatment failure secondary to macrolide resistance is thought to be the primary cause. This study adds to the growing literature by describing the possible origins of repeat Mg infections in among men, primarily African American, attending two public STD clinics in southern cities in the U.S.
Methods Men diagnosed with NGU at an STD clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi, were tested for Mg using the GenProbe research-use-only assay Mg+ men underwent a 4–10 week test of cure visit (TOC) following treatment with 1 g azithromycin. Detailed sexual behaviour data were collected at baseline and follow-up via ACASI and genotyping was performed.
Results Of 205 men with MG, 135 returned for TOC visit and of those, 34.3% were positive. Of the 46 who were positive at TOC, 19.6% reported sexual re-exposure to a baseline partner, 6.5% reported sexual exposure to a new partner, 6.5% reported sexual exposure to both, and 67.4% denied sexual re-exposure. Men who re-tested positive for Mg at TOC (n = 46) were no more likely that those who tested negative (n = 88) to have had sexual exposure to a baseline partner (31.8% vs. 26.1%, P = 0.55) or exposure to a new partner (21.4% vs. 11.3%, P = 0.22). Genotyping on baseline/TOC positive pairs is being performed and will be used in conjunction with behavioural data to more precisely estimate the treatment failure rate.
Conclusion The TOC repeat infection rate among men with Mg is high. Our data are consistent with the published literature corroborating that repeat infections in men treated with azithromycin is usually due to treatment failure rather than re-infection. Research is needed to optimise treatment of Mg infections in men.
- Mycoplasma genitalium
- repeat infections