January 10, 2019 – Mycoplasma genitalium
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:03 — 1.5MB)
Anchor lead: A new drug resistant sexually transmitted infection may be cause for alarm, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Mycoplasma genitalium , or Mgen for short, is a bacterial infection transmitted sexually that’s being identified more and more often, at least when it is looked for. Maria Trent, a sexually transmitted infection or STI expert at Johns Hopkins, is advocating for widespread testing for the bug, starting now.
Trent: Based on what we know so far it can cause significant urethritis or inflammation of their urethral tract in men, that it’s hard to treat. In women it’s associated with pelvic inflammatory disease. I think we’re really concerned about those complicated infections because PID really does put women at risk for ectopic pregnancy, tubal infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and as a nation we have a priority to preserve fertility in young women. :26
Trent says right now Mgen is not a reportable disease like gonorrhea or syphilis, so more reliable data regarding just how widespread it is is lacking. Also lacking is a commercially available diagnostic test and effective treatment, so for now, prevention is the best course. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.