Highlighting the clinical need for diagnosing Mycoplasma genitalium infection

Catherine A. Ison*, Helen Fifer, Simon Gwynn, Paddy Horner, Peter Muir, Jane Nicholls, Keith Radcliffe, Jonathan Ross, David Taylor-Robinson, John White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Despite Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) being increasingly recognised as a genital pathogen in men and women, awareness and utility of commercially available MG-testing has been low. The opinion of UK sexual health clinicians and allied professionals was sought on how MG-testing should be used. Thirty-two consensus statements were developed by an expert group and circulated to clinicians and laboratory staff, who were asked to evaluate their level of agreement with each statement; 75% agreement was set as the threshold for defining consensus for each statement. A modified Delphi approach was used and high levels of agreement obviated the need to test the original statement set further. Of 201 individuals who received questionnaires, 60 responded, most (48) being sexual health consultants, more than 10% of the total in the UK. Twenty-seven (84.4%) of the statements exceeded the 75% threshold. Respondents strongly supported MG-testing of patients with urethritis, pelvic inflammatory disease or unexplained persistent vaginal discharge, or post-coital bleeding. Fewer favoured testing patients with proctitis and support was divided for routinely testing Chlamydia-positive patients. Testing of current sexual contacts of MG-positive patients was supported, as was a test of cure for MG-positive patients, although agreement fell below the 75% threshold. Respondents agreed that all consultant- or specialist-led services should have access to testing for MG (98.3%). There was strong agreement for having MG-testing available for specific patient groups, which may reflect concern over antibiotic resistance and the desire to comply with clinical guidelines that recommend MG-testing in sexual health clinic settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-686
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors declared the following potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: All authors were in receipt of a paid consultancy for this study. CAI is in receipt of a patent for the Mycoplasma genitalium detection assay based on MG219 gene (PCT/GB2007/001913 and foreign equivalents). HF is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Discuva Ltd. PH had non-financial support from Hologic, during the conduct of the study; personal fees from Crown Prosecution service, personal fees from British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, grants from Mast Group Ltd, non-financial support from Hologic, outside the submitted work. In addition, PH has a patent A sialidase spot test to diagnose bacterial vaginosis issued to University of Bristol. PM has been in receipt of grants, conference expenses and consultancy fees from Hologic Inc and grants from Elitech UK Ltd. JN has received fees from Hologic for conference presentations. KR is a consultant to Hologic. JR has been in receipt of a paid consultancy for GSK pharma and for Hologic. DTR has no other competing interests. JW has previously received research and educational support and hospitality from BD Diagnostics, Genprobe/Hologic, Abbott Diagnostics, Alere, Viiv, Gilead, Boerhinger Ingelheim, Abbott Pharmaceuticals, Diagnostics Development Unit/DRW, University of Cambridge, and is an Editor in Chief of International Journal of STD & AIDS, SAGE publishing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © The Author(s) 2018.


  • Chlamydia
  • Mycoplasma genitalium
  • genito-urinary medicine
  • testing
  • urethritis


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