Background: STIs are increasing in Spain and across Europe due to a number of changes in sexual habits of the population. It can be caused by more than one disease-causing organism. There are methods that allow molecular diagnosis of co-infections through multiple platforms, providing an appropriate treatment to the affected population.
Objectives: To describe the etiology and frequency of co-infection of STIs in our area.
Methods: We have recently added a multiplex PCR (Seeplex STD6, Segeene) which detects Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU), Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) and Mycoplasma hominis (MH). We received samples from 93 collection centers. These samples were transported to our laboratory whose service area is 850,000 inhabitants
Results: We obtained 1346/2602 positive samples (52%). Simple infection in 661/2602 (25%) and co-infection in 685/2602 (26.5%), UU 253/2602 (10%), MH 173/2602 (7%), CT 131/2602 (5%), NG 60/2602 (2%), MG 24 / 2602 (1%), TV 20 / 2602 (1%). The most common co-infections: UU + MH (96 / 2602, 4%), UU + CT (44/2602, 2%) and MH + CT (34/2602, 1%). CT and NG are co-infected in a 0.3%.
Conclusions: This is a simple technique to detect the most prevalent infections in our area. We stress the importance of MG (5% of cases), most often in co-infection ( p <0.0001). It is essential the use of molecular techniques for the detection of microorganisms having a difficult growth. This is even more important due to the characteristics of our laboratory.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and Research: The multi-platform PCRs are very useful and economical, but it should be even more so that populations with poor access to these technologies can have a better access. In addition, these technologies allow a more comprehensive knowledge of the situation of STIs regards the sexual changes of this century, by testing the population at risk at earlier ages.