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Mycoplasma genitalium: an organism commonly associated with cervicitis among west African sex workers
  1. J Pépin1,
  2. A-C Labbé2,
  3. N Khonde,
  4. S Deslandes1,
  5. M Alary4,
  6. A Dzokoto5,
  7. C Asamoah-Adu3,
  8. H Méda6,
  9. E Frost1
  1. 1Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada
  2. 2Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montréal, Canada
  3. 3West Africa Project to Combat AIDS and STI, Accra, Ghana
  4. 4Centre Hospitalier Affilié Universitaire and Laval University, Québec, Canada
  5. 5Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana
  6. 6West Africa Project to Combat AIDS and STI, Cotonou, Bénin
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Jacques Pépin
 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, 3001, 12ème Avenue Nord, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada J1H 5N4;


Objectives: To identify the contribution of Mycoplasma genitalium to the aetiology of cervicitis in sub-Saharan Africa and its relative importance in the overall burden of sexually transmitted infections among female sex workers (FSW).

Methods: The study population consisted of FSW recruited in Ghana and Bénin during the initial visit of a randomised controlled trial. A questionnaire was administered, a pelvic examination carried out, and cervical samples obtained for detection of M genitalium, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Trichomonas vaginalis. Clinical signs potentially indicating cervicitis were cervical discharge, pus on the cervical swab, bleeding after sampling, and inflammatory cervix.

Results: Among 826 FSW, 26.3% were infected with M genitalium. N gonorrhoeae was strongly and independently associated with each of the four signs of cervicitis (adjusted odds ratios (AOR): 4.1 to 6.0). The AOR for C trachomatis were intermediate (1.3–4.1) and the AOR for M genitalium were lower (between 1.6 and 1.8) but statistically significant (p⩽0.05) for each sign.

Conclusions:M genitalium is weakly associated with signs of cervicitis in west African FSW but is highly prevalent.

  • AOR, adjusted odds ratio
  • CT, Chlamydia trachomatis
  • FSW, female sex workers
  • MG, Mycoplasma genitalium
  • NAAT, nucleic acid amplification tests
  • NG, Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction
  • STI, sexually transmitted infections
  • TV, Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Mycoplasma genitalium
  • cervicitis
  • female sex workers
  • Africa
  • Ghana
  • Bénin

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  • Conflicts of interest: none.