In men, Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) known to cause urethritis and urethral discharge. There is a paucity of literature regarding the prevalence of MG. To date, no research has been conducted on the prevalence of MG in Queensland, in incarcerated populations or in a primarily Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander population.
From November 2012 to February 2013, men entering a correctional facility in Far North Queensland (FNQ) were offered entry into the study. Upon consent participants were interviewed and a urine sample obtained. Samples were tested for MG by quantitative real-time PCR using an assay targeting the MG 16S rRNA gene, with positive samples tested for macrolide resistance mutations in the MG 23S rRNA gene using High Resolution Melt Analysis. Study subjects testing positive for MG were offered treatment and a follow-up urine test four weeks post-treatment to establish whether clearance of the pathogen had been achieved.
Out of 140 samples 8 individuals tested positive, thus the overall prevalence was 5.71% (95% CI, 1.82–9.60). Of this cohort 101 participants identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and of this group 7 tested positive resulting in a prevalence of 6.93% (95% CI, 1.89–11.97). Of the remaining 39 non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander participants, 1 individual tested positive resulting in a prevalence rate of 2.56% (95% CI, 0–7.75). Of the 8 positive samples, 2 samples were infected with a strain carrying macrolide resistance mutations.
This study suggests MG may be an important STI in men from FNQ and it is the first to report positivity in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander populations. Although based on limited data, this data highlights the need for further research to determine the burden of MG on susceptible Australian populations to inform future screening guidelines.