Assessing the Need for Routine Screening for Mycoplasma genitalium in the Low‑risk Female Population: A Prevalence and Co‑infection Study on Women from Croatia

Sunčanica Ljubin‑Sternak, Tomislav Meštrović, Branko Kolarić, Neda Jarža‑Davila, Tatjana Marijan, Jasmina Vraneš


Background: There is an ongoing debate regarding possible cost and benefts, but also harm of universal screening for the emerging sexually transmitted pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium.

Methods: From the initial pool of 8665 samples that were tested, a subset of Chlamydia trachomatis‑positive and randomly selected C. trachomatis‑negative cervical swabs were further interrogated for M. genitalium by real‑time polymerase chain reaction, using a 224 bp long fragment of the glyceraldehyde‑3‑phosphate dehydrogenase gene.

Results: M. genitalium was detected in 4.8% of C. trachomatis‑positive samples and none of C. trachomatis‑negative samples. Accordingly,
a signifcant association was shown between M. genitalium and C. trachomatis (P < 0.01), but also between M. genitalium and Mycoplasma hominis infection (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Based on the results, routine screening is recommended only for women with one or more identifed risk factors. Moreover, younger age does not represent an appropriate inclusion/exclusion criterion for M. genitalium testing in the low‑risk female population.

Keywords: Cervical swabs, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Mycoplasma hominis, screening, sexually transmitted infections

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