Mycoplasma Genitalium is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Universally, research on this bacteria is still quite preliminary. It is caused by a bacterium called Mycoplasma Genitalium. Ongoing research investigates the performance of the Colli-Pee™ in de detection and screening of Mycoplasma Genitalium.
- Symptoms of Mycoplasma Genitalium
- Prevention of Mycoplasma Genitalium
- Detection of Mycoplasma Genitalium
- Treatment of Mycoplasma Genitalium
- Consequences of Mycoplasma Genitalium
- Novosanis' research on Mycoplasma Genitalium and the Colli-Pee device
Mycoplasma Genitalium typically causes inflammation of the urethra. This condition is known as urethritis. The most common symptom of this infection includes genital discharge, vaginal itching, and for women, an infection may cause pain during sexual intercourse.
Like most STIs, Mycoplasma Genitalium infections can be prevented by using a condom during sexual contact. A condom offers good protection against Mycoplasma Genitalium infections, since the bacteria are present in vaginal or penile discharge.
Next to primary prevention, screening can increase STI detection rate and prevent further infection in asymptomatic cases. As an example, Norway is currently investigating the benefits and related costs to Mycoplasma Genitalium screening (1). The Colli-Pee can significantly improve these types of screening programs. With Colli-Pee, the collection of first-void urine is assured, making the urine sample more reliable for both female and male patients. The first-void urine collector is also easy-to-use. Home-based sampling can reduce feelings of shame connected to Gonorrhea testing and urine collection in the doctor's office. With Colli-Pee, urine samples can be obtained in the home environment.
Mycoplasma Genitalium can be detected by the examination of a swab specimen (from the cervix for women or from the urethra for men) taken by a clinician, by self-collected vaginal swabs, or by voided urine (2). The urine sample for detection of Mycoplasma Genitalium has to consist of first-void urine (the first part of the urine stream), as this part of the urine stream contains more DNA particles than other part, making the clinical detection of Mycoplasma Genitalium more sensitive.
Mycoplasma Genitalium infections are treated with antibiotics (3).
If left untreated, Mycoplasma Genitalium can have serious complications for both men and women. It can weaken the immune system to such an extent that the infected person becomes more susceptible to other infections. Mycoplasma Genitalium may elict co-infection with Chlamydia, which in consequence may cause ectopic pregnancies. The risk of infertility can increase during active infections. Last, there is a chance that internal organs get infected (4).
Novosanis is currently collaborating with The Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp, BE), to evaluate the Colli-Pee for STI testing in MSM (men having sex with men). Four STIs are detected in this study, being Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Mycoplasma Genitalium, and Trichomonas. Samples are taken at home and send to the laboratory using regular mail. Next to diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, usability and willingness to use are also assessed. Further research will be dedicated to e.g. STI testing in females.