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Prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium in different population groups: systematic review and meta-analysis
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  • Published on:
    Prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium
    • David Taylor-Robinson, Emeritus Professor of Genitourinary Microbiology and Medicine Imperial College London
    • Other Contributors:
      • Jason J Ong, Associate Professor. Epidemiologist

    The work by Baumann et al.(1) is valuable because it indicates populations for which screening for Mycoplasma genitalium (MG)) is not worthwhile economically. However, as molecular detection tests are now available commercially, testing worldwide should continue to support or modify this conclusion and so help in the development of management guidelines and also provide data for MG modelling.
    Another aspect of infection which requires more attention is the precise role of MG in balanoposthitis, epididymitis,, chronic prostatitis, reactive arthritis, and, of course, pelvic inflammatory disease, all of which, apart from chronic prostatitis, have some association with MG (2).
    In addition, it is noteworthy that Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP), which infects the respiratory tract, and is also responsible for some autoimmune side effects, does so in early childhood without causing disease. The latter usually occurs as an immunological response to reinfection later in life. MG is different genomically from MP but has much in common antigenically and might behave in a similar way to MP. Could asymptomatic MG infection, which is seen occasionally, be an example of this? Potentiation or even inhibition of MG infection in the genital tract by MP infection in the respiratory tract earlier in life is also possible. This idea is not supported by studies in mice, but the human situation might be quite different. In this regard, use of an existing specific serological test for MG m...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.