Background: Research exploring the clinical and sexual risk correlates is essential to refine national standards for screening and treatment of genital infection with Mycoplasma genitalium (MG). The purpose of this research is to determine the prevalence and associated clinical risks for MG among a cohort of young urban pregnant and non-pregnant women seeking care.
Methods: Women 13-29 years were recruited during clinical visits during which biological specimens were collected for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) to provide vaginal specimens for MG and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) testing. Demographic, clinical, and sexual risk score data were collected after obtaining written consent. MG was tested using the Hologic/Gen-Probe transcription-mediated amplification-MG analyte specific- reagent assay and TV by the Aptima TV assay. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were used to evaluate differences in MG prevalence based on pregnancy status, demographic factors, clinical symptoms, concurrent infection, and sexual risk score (Max score=10)
Results: 231 patients with a mean age of 22 years (SD 3.6) were enrolled. 35% were pregnant and 42% were symptomatic. The prevalence of MG, TV, CT, and GC was 14%, 12%, 2%, and 9%, respectively. Neither pregnancy nor symptoms were predictive of MG or other STI positivity. Women with MG were almost 5 times more likely to be co-infected with other infections compared to those with other STIs [OR: 4.5, CI: 1.11 – 20.8, p = 0.035] Mean risk scores for STI positive women were 0.5 points higher than those who were STI negative (β: 0.55, SE β 0.20, p = 0.006]. There were no differences in risk scores for MG positive women compared with other STI positivity.
Conclusions: MG infection is common and associated with other STI infections among young urban women seeking routine care, but is often asymptomatic in presentation. Longitudinal clinical outcomes data are needed to define MG public health control strategies.