Mycoplasma genitalium: symptoms, causes and treatment of this STD

Talking about sexually transmitted diseases or infections is common today, this type of disease being one of the most widespread and difficult epidemics today at the medical level. When we talk about STDs we usually think of HIV / AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia or human papillomavirus (HPV) or other issues that can be sexually transmitted like hepatitis. But these are not the only communicable diseases that exist.

In fact, the existence of a new venereal disease or STD has recently come to light, which, although it was discovered in 1980, was virtually unknown until now and which, in addition to starting to develop. expand, has the potential to become an antibiotic. resistant superbugs. It is the genital mycoplasma, What we will talk about in this article.

    Mycoplasma genitalium: description and symptoms

    It is known as genital mycoplasma or genital mycoplasma a a previously rare sexually transmitted disease and that it recently started to receive media attention with a dramatic increase in its prevalence (it is now estimated that between 1 and 2% of the population suffers from it) and to be classified in 2015 as an emerging pathogen by the ‘WHO. This does not imply that it is a new disease, as its discovery dates back to 1980.

    It is a disease that can appear asymptomatic for years, although in cases where symptoms do appear, it usually appears between one and three weeks after infection. Symptoms of this disease can vary between men and women, Although in general, in both sexes, the presence of inflammation in the genitourinary tract is usually shared with pain during urination or sex.

    In the case of women apart from dysuria or pain during urination may pain in the pelvis, during intercourse or even when walking, redness of the urethra and inflammation of the bladder, as well as a odorous discharge and abnormal bleeding. On top of that and I think this is particularly important, this disease has the ability to cause loss of fertility in women as well as premature births. Bleeding may also appear after sex or even ectopic pregnancies (Which can present a danger of death).

    In men more than the symptoms in the form of pain (usually in the form of burning) during urination, it is not uncommon for the urethra and prostate to become inflamed, in addition to possible inflammation of the joints and purulent secretions from the urethra. This can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, urethritis, proctitis, or pharyngitis.

    In addition to all this, in people with depressed immune systems (for example, HIV positive or HIV positive patients) it can have other repercussions such as the appearance of pulmonary, bone, skin or joint infections.

      Causes, population at risk and routes of infection

      Genital mycoplasma is a disease of bacterial origin, the main cause is the transmission of the bacteria Mycoplasma genitalium through sexual contact. This disease can be transmitted both vaginally and anal or even orally, and can infect not only genital tissue but also the pharynx or anus. In addition to this, it can also be spread after touching the genitals of the infected person with your hands.

      As for the existence of populations at risk, this disease can appear in both sexes and it is also prevalent in heterosexual and homosexual couples. The at-risk population would be made up of all people who have ever had a sexually transmitted disease, someone with multiple sexual partners, people who engage in high-risk, unprotected sex, or sex workers.

      A little-known disease, now worrying

      Although it was discovered in the UK in 1980, its low prevalence to date and symptomatic confusion with other sexually transmitted diseases has caused genital mycoplasma to be 1 little-known and studied venereal, And there is very little information about it until a few years ago and being virtually unknown to the people until 2015.

      In fact, it is common for Mycoplasma genitalium to be mistaken for chlamydia or sometimes gonorrhea, although they are different infections caused by different bacteria. This makes Mycoplasma genitalium difficult to treat because the therapeutic target would be different. Likewise, there are few specific tests to diagnose this disease and most of them are very recent and are available in a few hospitals and clinics. At a general level, an exudate from the patient’s secretions or urine is usually collected and analyzed.

      There are several reasons why genital mycoplasma has suddenly started to be of concern and begins to focus some of its scientific and social interest.

      One of them is the severity and danger that this disease can present, which can lead to infertility or even lead to dangerous ectopic pregnancies that could lead to the death of those who suffer from it. The other, increasingly worrisome, is that it has been observed that the genital mycoplasma is capable of acquiring resistance to antibiotics, and can develop into a very difficult to eliminate superbug. On top of that, in many cases there are no symptoms, either. comorbid presence or confusion with another STD such as chlamydia this may lead to not seeking appropriate treatment.

      treatment

      Generally, the treatment of this problem it is based on taking antibiotics as the most effective methodWhile the fact that this type of infection can become resistant to treatment can make it difficult to resolve.

      The most common is to use antibiotics from the macrolide family or azithromycin, which can be given as a single oral dose or as a daily course of five days to a week. After that, it will be necessary to carry out medical tests and analyzes in order to check whether the bacteria have been eliminated.

      Another of the main methods of preventing the onset of this disease is prevention: use of barrier methods and contraception, Especially in the case of condoms, will prevent infection in most cases.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Arráiz, N., Pujol, S., Marcucci, R., Rondón, N., Reis, F., Bermúdez, V. and Romero, Z. (2008). Detection of Mycoplasma genitalium and correlation with clinical manifestations in a population of the state of Zulia, Venezuela. Chilean Journal of Infectology, 25 (4). Santiago.
      • British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. (2018) National guideline for the treatment of Mycoplasma genitalium infection. July 2017. Available online at: https://www.bashhguidelines.org/media/1182/bashh-mgen-guideline-2018_draft-for-consultation.pdf.

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