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Association of Mycoplasma genitalium with balanoposthitis in men with non-gonococcal urethritis
  1. Patrick J Horner1,2,
  2. David Taylor-Robinson3
  1. 1School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2Bristol Sexual Health Centre, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK
  3. 3Division of Medicine, Imperial College London, St Mary's Campus, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Patrick Horner, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, 39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS, UK; Paddy.horner{at}


Objective To determine whether Mycoplasma genitalium is associated with balanitis and/or posthitis in a previous study of the role of M genitalium in men with acute non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU).

Methods In a previous study of men with acute NGU, the existence of balanitis and/or posthitis was recorded. Chlamydia trachomatis, M genitalium and ureaplasmas were sought in urethral swabs and urine using a direct fluorescent antibody test and in-house PCR, an in-house PCR and a culture method, respectively. Men were treated with doxycycline or erythromycin.

Results M genitalium was associated significantly (p=0.01) with balanitis and/or posthitis in 114 men with acute NGU. This association persisted when there was control for C trachomatis and urethral discharge (p=0.021, OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.2 to 13.5). C trachomatis and ureaplasmas were not associated with balanitis and/or posthitis.

Conclusion Detection of M genitalium in men with acute NGU was associated significantly with balanitis and/or posthitis. The association is biologically plausible and may have a role in HIV-1 transmission and susceptibility.

  • Mycoplasma genitalium
  • Balanoposthitis
  • balanitis
  • non-gonococcal urethritis
  • NGU

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  • Funding This research was funded by Medical Research Council Programme Grant G9225810.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the St Mary's Hospital research ethics committee and signed consent was obtained from all patients.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.