Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Scientists in the United Kingdom have confirmed the
existence of a new sexually transmitted disease
called mycoplasma genitalium.
The confirmation of the bacterial disease, which
causes painful urination among other things, as an
STD comes more than two decades after it was
first discovered.
A team of fourteen researchers arrived at the
conclusion after conducting a national survey of the
sexual lifestyles and attitudes of British men and
women.
The researchers said the study, which involved the
testing urine from 4,507 sexually experienced
participants aged 16 to 44 years for MG,
“strengthens evidence that MG is an STI”.
They added, “MG was identified in over one per
cent of the population, including in men with high-
risk behaviours in older age groups that are often
not included in STI prevention measures.”
The study found that men of black ethnicity were
more likely to test positive for MG and showed that
the prevalence of the disease was 1.2 per cent in
men and 1.3 per cent in women.
It also found that for both men and women, the
disease was strongly associated with reporting risk
behaviours such as increasing the number of total
and new partners and unsafe sex in the past year.
Although it recorded no positive MG tests in men
aged 16 to19, prevalence peaked at 2.1 per cent in
men aged 25–34 years, while prevalence in was
highest in 16 to 19-year-olds at 2.4 per cent and
decrease with age.
It added, “Men with MG were more likely to report
previously diagnosed gonorrhoea, syphilis or non-
specific urethritis, and women previous
trichomoniasis.”
Health.com in an article on about the study quoted a
clinical associate professor, Raquel Dardik, as
saying the symptoms for women included irritation,
painful urination and bleeding after sex, while those
for men included painful urination and watery
discharge from the penis.
According to the article, the disease has been linked
to both inflammation in the cervix (cervicitis) and
pelvic inflammatory disease, which is a serious
condition often caused by other STDs like
chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Dardik was also quoted as saying that around 10
per cent of women who develop PID (which causes
abdominal pain, fever, painful cervix, and pain or
bleeding during sex), could blame MG as the
underlying cause.
She, however, said people could get tested for MD
and that it was treatable with the antibiotic
azithromycin, adding that the use of condoms was
an effective way of preventing it.
Dr. Jorgen Jensen of the Mycoplasma Laboratory,
Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, however, said
although the single-dose azithromycin treatment
was best for MG, it was not good enough.
He explained in an article published in an issue of
Clinical Infectious Diseases that although initial in
vitro studies suggested that antibiotics of the
tetracycline class were active, clinical experience
soon demonstrated their inefficiency in producing
both microbiologic and clinical cure.
He added that two recently published observational
studies of 120 Australian and 183 Norwegian MG-
positive patients found that only 84 per cent and 79
per cent, respectively, were cured by a single 1-g
dose of azithromycin.
Jensen said, “(A study the study by) Mena et al
provides a clear-cut answer to the question of
whether multidose doxycycline or single-dose
azithromycin is most efficient for the treatment of
M. genitalium—positive urethritis; undoubtedly,
azithromycin is best. However, it is not good
enough, and additional studies of new approaches
are definitely needed.”

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