Should we be testing for urogenital Mycoplasma hominis, Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum in men and women? – a position statement from the European STI Guidelines Editorial Board

Paddy J Horner, G Donders, M Cusini, M Gomberg, J S Jensen, Magnus Unemo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

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Abstract

At present, we have no evidence that we are doing more good than harm detecting and subsequently treating Mycoplasma hominis, Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum colonisations/infections. Consequently, routine testing and treatment of asymptomatic or symptomatic men and women for M. hominis, U. urealyticum, and U. parvum is not recommended. Asymptomatic carriage of these bacteria is common and the majority of individuals do not develop disease. Although U. urealyticum has been associated with urethritis in men, it is probably not causal unless a high load is present (likely carriage in 40-80% of detected cases). The extensive testing, detection and subsequent antimicrobial treatment of these bacteria performed in some settings may result in selection of antimicrobial resistance, in these bacteria, “true” STI agents, as well as in the general microbiota, and substantial economic cost for society and individuals, particularly women. The commercialisation of many particularly multiplex PCR assays detecting traditional non-viral STIs together with M. hominis, U. parvum and/or U. urealyticum have worsened this situation. Thus, routine screening of asymptomatic men and women or routine testing of symptomatic individuals for M. hominis, U. urealyticum, and U. parvum is not recommended. If testing of men with symptomatic urethritis is undertaken, traditional STI urethritis agents such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, M. genitalium and, in settings where relevant, Trichomonas vaginalis should be excluded prior to U. urealyticum testing and quantitative species-specific molecular diagnostic tests should be used. Only men with high U. urealyticum load should be considered for treatment, however, appropriate evidence for effective treatment regimens is lacking. In symptomatic women, bacterial vaginosis (BV) should always be tested for and treated if detected.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Early online date20 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Mycoplasma hominis
  • Ureaplasma parvum
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum
  • sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • urethritis
  • cervicitis

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