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A cross-sectional study of Mycoplasma genitalium infection and correlates in women undergoing population-based screening or clinic-based testing for Chlamydia infection in London
  1. H F Svenstrup1,
  2. S S Dave1,
  3. C Carder2,
  4. P Grant2,
  5. S Morris-Jones2,
  6. M Kidd2,
  7. J M Stephenson1
  1. 1Research Department of Reproductive Medicine, Institute for Women's Health, University College London, UK
  2. 2Clinical Microbiology and Virology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helle F Svenstrup; hfs{at}


Objective To determine Mycoplasma genitalium infection and correlates among young women undergoing population-based screening or clinic-based testing for Chlamydia infection.

Design Cross-sectional study.

Setting National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) and two London sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics.

Participants 2441 women aged 15–64 years who participated in the NCSP and 2172 women who attended two London STI clinics over a 4-month period in 2009.

Outcome measures (1) M genitalium prevalence in defined populations (%). (2) Age-adjusted ORs (aORs) for correlates of M genitalium infection.

Results The overall frequency of M genitalium and Chlamydia trachomatis was 3% and 5.4%, respectively. Co-infection was relatively uncommon (0.5% of all women); however 9% of women with C trachomatis also had M genitalium infection. M genitalium was more frequently detected in swab than urine samples (3.9 vs 1.3%, p<0.001) with a significantly higher mean bacterial load (p ≤ 0.001). Among NCSP participants, M genitalium was significantly more likely to be diagnosed in women of black/black British ethnicity (aOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2 to 4.5, p=0.01). M genitalium and C trachomatis and were both significantly associated with multiple sexual partners in the past year (aOR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.4, p=0.01 and aOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.4 to 2.8, p<0.01). Among STI clinic attendees, M genitalium was more common in women who were less than 25 years in age.

Conclusions M genitalium is a relatively common infection among young women in London. It is significantly more likely to be detected in vulvovaginal swabs than in urine samples. Co-infection with Chlamydia is uncommon. The clinical effectiveness of testing and treatment strategies for M genitalium needs further investigation.

  • Epidemiology
  • Genitourinary Medicine
  • Microbiology

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