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MYCOPLASTA GENITALIUM: THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS

A not-so-new potential superbug

Mycoplasma genitalium is a small bacterium from the genitourinary tract that lives in the ciliated epithelial cells of the reproductive and respiratory apparatuses. Although it was originally discovered during the 80s, it was not until 2015 when the World Health Organization (WHO) started to consider Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) as a pathogen of growing relevance. In fact, CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) affirm that infections caused by MG are more common sexual transmitted diseases (STD) than gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), being the second more prevalent STD after clamydiasis (Chlamydia trachomatis).

However, the similarity of the symptoms caused by MG in comparison with other STD and the fact that it is frequent to suffer from a number of them simultaneously, made individual identification of the MG quite complex. Furthermore, the conventional diagnosis methods such as bacteriological culture are laborious and generally too long due to the slow growth of this bacteria. Consequently, molecular diagnosis techniques are the selected method, because of its rapidity as well as its high specificity and sensitivity.

Early diagnosis: the key to avoiding antibiotic resistance

Nowadays, between 1% and 2% of the european population are infected by MG. Its detection is key to provide appropiate and specific antibiotics to confront the infection, otherwise symptoms may become more severe and may cause bacteria to develop resistance to the most common antibiotics used for the treatment of these infections.

In particular, UK has recently started to warn about the increase of the MG resistance and the importance of an early diagnosis for preventing symptoms such as urethritis in men, and pelvic inflammatory disease in women may get worse, which could even eventually have fertility problems.

Among the mentioned molecular diagnostic techniques, OPERON has developed two specific tests for the detection of Mycoplasma genitalium:

  • MG Oligogen: is a test designed for the qualitative detection of Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) through the amplification through PCR of one region of adhesin protein (MgPa) gene of MG and its subsequent identification by immunochromatography. The test allows for the simple, economical and reliable detection of all infections caused by the different types of Mycoplasma genitalium.
  • STD Panel Strip: is a test designed for the qualitative detection of Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) through the amplification through PCR of one region of adhesin protein (MgPa) gene of MG and its subsequent identification by the blot reverse technique. The test allows the differential detection of 10 pathogenic microorganisms more frequently associated to sexually transmitted diseases: Chlamydia trachomatis (distinguishing serovars L1, L2 and L3, causing limphogranuloma venereum, LGV), Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium, Trichomonas vaginalis, Ureaplasma parvum, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis, Herpes simplex 1, Herpes simplex 2 and Treponema pallidum.

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