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A serological study of the role of Mycoplasma genitalium in pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy


Objectives: Establishing a connection between the emerging urogenital tract pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium and upper genital tract infection in women would be of major importance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between M genitalium antibodies and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and ectopic pregnancy (EP) using a lipid-associated membrane protein-enzyme immunoassay (LAMP-EIA) method.

Methods: The LAMP-EIA was used to analyse sera obtained from patients with clinical PID and EP collected in Sweden between February 1984 and April 1986. Sera from healthy pregnant women (Ctrl) collected during approximately the same period were used as controls. Evidence of chlamydial infection was investigated using a commercial anti-Chlamydia trachomatis EIA assay.

Results: The LAMP-EIA was specific as determined by a lack of cross-reactivity with other Mycoplasma species. The LAMP-EIA showed that 17% (33/193) of the PID patients were M genitalium positive as compared to 18% (15/82) of the EP patients and 15% (36/246) of the Ctrl women. No significant association could be demonstrated between M genitalium antibodies and PID or EP in crude or adjusted logistic regression. Antibodies against C trachomatis were demonstrated in 54% of the PID and 57% of the EP patients, and also in 37% of the Ctrl women, showing a statistically significant association.

Conclusion: No statistically significant association between PID or EP and M genitalium antibodies could be found using the LAMP-EIA, although a slight tendency toward association was found when focusing on younger individuals.

  • CI, confidence interval
  • EP, ectopic pregnancy
  • LAMP-EIA, lipid-associated membrane protein-enzyme immunoassay
  • OR, odds ratio
  • PBST, PBS+0.05% Tween 20
  • PID, pelvic inflammatory disease
  • RT, room temperature
  • SD, standard deviation
  • mycoplasma genitalium
  • pelvic inflammatory disease
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • serology
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