Mycoplasma Genitalium: medical experts warn of high prevalence of new sexually transmitted infection

by Editor

September 21, 2017 | 8:53 pm
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A recent study suggests there is a new sexually transmitted infection Mycoplasma Genitalium in town which is fairly common, this drawn the attention of so many Nigerians when British Scientists uncovered its links to some sexual conditions.


Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is a small pathogenic bacterium that lives on the ciliated epithelial cells of the urinary and genital tracts in humans. It is an emerging and relatively common sexually transmitted infection (STI) currently affecting two per cent of young sexually active people.


M. genitalium is a more common sexually transmitted disease (STD), but the bacteria were first discovered in 1981.


Lanre Yusuf a medical practitioner based in Lagos said, Mycoplasma genitalium is being under diagnosed in Nigeria, because the first infection that comes to your mind is gonorrhea, which is most common and has a huge burden on the economy of the country.


“People infected with the bacteria do not know they have it, and when it is left untreated it causes overwhelming health problem like urethritis in men mostly which has similar symptoms observed in Chlamydia and gonorrhoea, cervicitis, and pelvic inflammatory diseases in women.” Yusuf said.


Yusuf further said that despite its prevalence the infection can be difficult to diagnose and treat.


The question is, “Are there new sexual behaviour people are engaging that is making the prevalence on rise, although sexually transmitted infection differ in prevalence , but  M. genitalium is also a common cause if STIs”


However, antibiotic can be used to treat this infection, but there is need to increase awareness that this bacteria may be causing patients STI symptoms’’ added Yusuf


“In men, the bacteria can cause inflammation of the urethra (called urethritis) that leads to symptoms such as a burning pain while urinating or discharge from the penis”.


“In women, the cause of disease is less clear, but the bacteria have been linked to inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis), as well as pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the female reproductive organs that can lead to pain in the lower abdomen and pain or bleeding during sex. In severe cases, pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to infertility in women”, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Meanwhile, the study published by the International Journal Epidemology adds to the evidence that M. genitalium is an STD, because it found that the infection was more common in a person who has multiple or at least four new sexual partners in the past years than in people who had one of fewer new partners in the past years.

It further reveals that people were more likely to have the infection if they had unprotected sex.

The signs and symptoms of M. genitalium is just like many other STIs irritation, painful urination, bleeding after sex, watery discharge from penis, and abnormal vaginal discharge, a red inflamed cervix (cervicitis) on speculum examination.


Symptoms develop in 1 to 3 weeks, although the incubation period has not been established.


Anthonia Obokoh


by Editor

September 21, 2017 | 8:53 pm
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