Mycoplasma Genitalium in the Female Genital Tract

Investigator: Craig Cohen, MD, MPH
Sponsor: University of Washington (UW)

Location(s): Kenya


Mycoplasma genitalium has been associated with cervicitis, endometritis, and tubal factor infertility. Because the ability of this bacterium to ascend and infect the fallopian tube remains undefined, we performed an investigation to determine the prevalence of M genitalium in fallopian tube, endometrial, and cervical specimens from women laparoscopically diagnosed with acute salpingitis in Nairobi, Kenya.

Methods: Women aged 18–40 presenting with clinically suspected PID at Kenyatta National Hospital  with pelvic inflammatory disease were laparoscopically diagnosed with salpingitis. Infection with M genitalium in genital specimens was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Results: Of 123 subjects with acute salpingitis, M genitalium was detected by PCR in the cervix and/or endometrium in nine (7%) participants, and in a single fallopian tube specimen. In addition, those infected with M genitalium were more often HIV infected than women not infected by M genitalium (seven of nine (78%) v 42 of 114 (37%), p<0.03).

Conclusions:M genitalium is able to ascend into the fallopian tube, but its association with tubal pathology requires further investigation.