Scientists Confirm A New Sexually Transmitted Disease

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Scientists in the United Kingdom have
confirmed the existence of a new sexually
transmitted disease called mycoplasma
genitalium.
The confirmation of the bacterial disease,
which causes painful urination among other
things, as an STD comes more than two
decades after it was first discovered.
A team of fourteen researchers arrived at
the conclusion after conducting a national
survey of the sexual lifestyles and attitudes
of British men and women.
The researchers said the study, which
involved the testing urine from 4,507
sexually experienced participants aged 16 to
44 years for MG, “strengthens evidence that
MG is an STI”.
They added, “MG was identified in over one
per cent of the population, including in men
with high-risk behaviours in older age
groups that are often not included in STI
prevention measures.”
The study found that men of black ethnicity
were more likely to test positive for MG and
showed that the prevalence of the disease
was 1.2 per cent in men and 1.3 per cent in
women.
It also found that for both men and women,
the disease was strongly associated with
reporting risk behaviours such as increasing
the number of total and new partners and
unsafe sx in the past year.
Although it recorded no positive MG tests in
men aged 16 to19, prevalence peaked at 2.1
per cent in men aged 25–34 years, while
prevalence in was highest in 16 to 19-year-
olds at 2.4 per cent and decrease with age.
It added, “Men with MG were more likely to
report previously diagnosed gonorrhoea,
syphilis or non-specific urethritis, and
women previous trichomoniasis.”
Health.com in an article on about the study
quoted a clinical associate professor, Raquel
Dardik, as saying the symptoms for women
included irritation, painful urination and
bleeding after s
x, while those for men
included painful urination and watery
discharge from the joystick.
According to the article, the disease has
been linked to both inflammation in the
cervix (cervicitis) and pelvic inflammatory
disease, which is a serious condition often
caused by other STDs like chlamydia and
gonorrhea.
Dardik was also quoted as saying that
around 10 per cent of women who develop
PID (which causes abdominal pain, fever,
painful cervix, and pain or bleeding during
s*x), could blame MG as the underlying
cause.
She, however, said people could get tested
for MD and that it was treatable with the
antibiotic azithromycin, adding that the use
of condoms was an effective way of
preventing it.
Dr. Jorgen Jensen of the Mycoplasma
Laboratory, Statens Serum Institut in
Denmark, however, said although the
single-dose azithromycin treatment was
best for MG, it was not good enough.
He explained in an article published in an
issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases that
although initial in vitro studies suggested
that antibiotics of the tetracycline class were
active, clinical experience soon
demonstrated their inefficiency in producing
both microbiologic and clinical cure.
He added that two recently published
observational studies of 120 Australian and
183 Norwegian MG-positive patients found
that only 84 per cent and 79 per cent,
respectively, were cured by a single 1-g
dose of azithromycin.
Jensen said, “(A study the study by) Mena et
al provides a clear-cut answer to the
question of whether multidose doxycycline
or single-dose azithromycin is most efficient
for the treatment of M. genitalium—positive
urethritis; undoubtedly, azithromycin is
best. However, it is not good enough, and
additional studies of new approaches are
definitely needed.”

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