Mycoplasma genitalium is a leading cause of chlamydia-negative, nongonoccocal urethritis and has been directly implicated in numerous other genitourinary as well as extragenitourinary tract pathologies. Detection of M. genitalium has relied almost entirely on PCR amplification of clinical specimens and evidence of seroconversion since these mycoplasmas are highly fastidious and culture isolation by microbiological techniques is very rare. We have established a combinatorial strategy using confocal immunoanalysis (CIA) and real-time PCR to qualitatively and quantitatively assess patterns of M. genitalium infection in women attending a sexually transmitted disease-related health clinic in San Antonio, Tex. CIA allows spatial examination of mycoplasmas on surfaces and inside human target cells, plus the ability to evaluate cell-to-cell patterns and variances within samples. Real-time PCR permits determination of genome copy numbers of mycoplasmas and human cells by multiplex amplification using mycoplasma gyrA and human RNase P gene sequences, which indicates overall levels of mycoplasma infection and degree of parasitism. These assays are strongly correlated and, in combination, permit detection and elucidation of heretofore-unrecognized patterns of M. genitalium infections in clinical and experimental samples.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)