Mycoplasma genitalium, an organism first isolated from the urethras of two men with nongonococcal urethritis, has been found in throat specimens from military recruits participating in an inactivated Mycoplasma pneumoniae vaccine field trial in 1974-1975. Four of 16 preserved throat isolates, previously identified as strains of M. pneumoniae, have now been shown to be mixtures of M. pneumoniae and M. genitalium. Purification of these mixed mycoplasmas by selection of single colonies confirmed the presence of M. genitalium. Identification of M. genitalium was based upon the occurrence of a species-specific 140-kilodalton protein adhesin in these isolates and their serologic reactivity to an M. genitalium antiserum. The frequent occurrence of both M. pneumoniae and M. genitalium in a number of these throat specimens, in combination with their shared antigenic cross-reactivities, suggests the likelihood that M. genitalium strains are easily missed in the usual laboratory identification procedures. What role M. genitalium may play in human respiratory disease remains to be determined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)