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Mycoplasma genitalium incidence, persistence, concordance between partners and progression: systematic review and meta-analysis

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Cina Manuel, Baumann Lukas, Egli-Gany Dianne, Halbeisen Florian, Hammad Ali, Scott Pippa, Low Nicola,
Project Epidemiology and Mathematical Modelling for Infectious disease Control (EpideMMIC)
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Sexually Transmitted Infections
Page(s) 1
Title of proceedings Sexually Transmitted Infections
DOI 10.1136/sextrans-2018-053823

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Background Mycoplasma genitalium is increasingly seen as an emerging sexually transmitted pathogen, and has been likened to Chlamydia trachomatis, but its natural history is poorly understood. The objectives of this systematic review were to determine M. genitalium incidence, persistence, concordance between sexual partners and the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Methods We searched Medline, EMBASE, LILACS, IndMed and African Index Medicus from 1 January 1981 until 17 March 2018. Two independent researchers screened studies for inclusion and extracted data. We examined results in forest plots, assessed heterogeneity and conducted meta-analysis where appropriate. Risk of bias was assessed for all studies. Results We screened 4634 records and included 18 studies; six (4201 women) reported on incidence, five (636 women) on persistence, 10 (1346 women and men) on concordance and three (5139 women) on PID. Incidence in women in two very highly developed countries was 1.07 per 100 person-years (95% CI 0.61 to 1.53, I2 0%). Median persistence of M. genitalium was estimated from one to three months in four studies but 15 months in one study. In 10 studies measuring M. genitalium infection status in couples, 39%–50% of male or female sexual partners of infected participants also had M. genitalium detected. In prospective studies, PID incidence was higher in women with M. genitalium than those without (risk ratio 1.73, 95% CI 0.92 to 3.28, I2 0%, two studies). Discussion Incidence of M. genitalium in very highly developed countries is similar to that for C. trachomatis, but concordance might be lower. Taken together with other evidence about age distribution and antimicrobial resistance in the two infections, M. genitalium is not the new chlamydia. Synthesised data about prevalence, incidence and persistence of M. genitalium infection are inconsistent. These findings can be used for mathematical modelling to investigate the dynamics of M. genitalium. Registration numbers CRD42015020420, CRD42015020405