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Mycoplasma genitalium Reference Work

The HPA have now introduced a rapid detection method for the sexually transmitted infection Mycoplasma genitalium.

Clinical Specimens will be accepted from January 8th 2007



Mycoplasma genitalium is a species of bacteria that can be transmitted between partners during unprotected sexual intercourse. This bacteria was only discovered in 1980 and little is known about how many people are infected and what the implications of the infection are. Despite association of Mycoplasma genitalium with urethritis, cervicitis and pelvic inflammatory disease, more data is required to further understand the affect this bacteria has on infected individuals.

Infection with Mycoplasma genitalium can be treated with antibiotics, however guidelines regarding optimal treatment are not available. Until recently we could not detect this bacterium and controversy still remains regarding the optimal course of therapy and whether treatment is necessary.

Diagnosis of Mycoplasma genitalium have been hampered by the lack of rapid detection methods, therefore we do not know how many people are infected in the United Kingdom.

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Molecular detection of Mycoplasma genitalium

Molecular detection of Mycoplasma genitalium in clinical samples is determined by real time PCR directed against the MgPa adhesin gene (Jensen et al., 2004) and confirmed by in house real time PCR.

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Samples accepted by STBRL and Referral Form

  • STBRL will accept specimens and DNA extracts for Mycoplasma genitalium from patients with clinical signs or known contact cases.


  • Specimens accepted include;
    - Extracted DNA
    - Rectal and genital swabs
    - Urine

Please use the correct referral form and complete for each sample, including your laboratory address. Sample referral form Adobe PDF (80 kB)

Samples received without any clinical information will be archived until sufficient information is provided.

Please note, charges will be levied for this service.

The laboratory can be contacted by telephone (020 8327 6464) or email stbrl@hpa.org.uk

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Key References for Mycoplasma genitalium

Ross JD and Jensen JS. Mycoplasma genitalium as a sexually transmitted infection: implications for screening, testing, and treatment. Sex Transm Infect 2006 Aug;82(4):269-71. Review.

Jensen JS. Mycoplasma genitalium infections. Diagnosis, clinical aspects, and pathogenesis. Dan Med Bul. 2006 Feb;53(1):1-27. Review.

Bradshaw CS, Jensen JS, Tabrizi SN, Read TR, Garland SM, Hopkins CA, Moss LM, Fairley CK. Azithromycin failure in Mycoplasma genitalium urethritis. Emerg Infect Dis 2006 Jul;12(7):1149-52.

Jensen JS, Bjornelius E, Dohn B, Lidbrink P. Use of TaqMan 5' nuclease real-time PCR for quantitative detection of Mycoplasma genitalium DNA in males with and without urethritis who were attendees at a sexually transmitted disease clinic. J Clin Microbio 2004 Feb;42(2):683-92.

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Last updated 23/04//2007