A bacterium found by using a Mycoplasma genitalium Test kit, known as Mgen, can cause inflammation, miscarriage, and even infertility. In women or those with vaginas, the little pathogen has been linked to inflammation of the cervix, miscarriage, preterm birth and infertility. The MGen Test for men or people with penises is becoming more widely used. The risk of disease is higher, which usually manifests as the inflammation of the urethra but can also result in infertility.
Experts aren’t sure why Mgen seems to sterilize some people, but it appears to be permanent. Mgen also helps other STIs feel at home, increasing the risk of HIV infections, for example. Partly because it’s not always tested for, experts don’t have good numbers for how common Mycoplasma is — meaning many cases may fly under the radar.
Treatable with antibiotics.
However, the pathogen is rapidly developing resistance, making many drugs useless to fight it. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of an STI, such as abnormal discharges, pain with sex, pain with urinating or abnormal bleeding, you should see a doctor. A positive Mgen Test is, unfortunately, hard to treat. The bacteria lack a cell wall and can deflect many typical antibiotics that target cell production. However, many researchers are studying new drugs to target these infections.
A recent review in the journal 3 Biotech evaluated different strategies
Such as using drugs to gum up certain enzymes or block the way these bacteria communicate. “Inhibiting or modulating these targets could be a rational strategy for developing novel antimicrobial drug molecules against various Mycoplasma Tests and the infections which require extensive further investigations,” the authors wrote in December. One of the best ways to prevent such diseases (aside from practising safe sex) is to keep the good bacteria that live inside us happy. For example, Lactobacillus is a category of bacteria that is found in the gut but also the vagina and urethra. As its name suggests, Lactobacillus can produce a syrupy chemical called lactic acid, which can maintain the acidity of the vagina.
This low-acid environment can prevent infections from taking hold.
“In some cases, common drugs like azithromycin worked less than 60 per cent of the time [against Mgen]. Not a great success rate. ” The more antibiotics you throw at the problem, the worse it can become. A recent study in the journal Elsevier Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease analyzed the outcomes of 209 Mgen-infected patients at a hospital in Guangzhou, China.
The Myco researchers also found that Mgen was developing antibiotic resistance to more than one drug at a time, with about 46 per cent of samples expressing dual resistance and 10 per cent expressing resistance to three different antibiotics. None of the patients had been screened for antibiotic resistance; in some cases, common drugs like azithromycin worked less than 60 per cent of the time. Not a great success rate.
When one drug fails, doctors often switch to others.
But if they aren’t made specifically for Mycoplasma tests, like the strategies outlined in the 3 Biotech paper, it can make Mgen stronger. “Antimicrobial resistance is a likely explanation for the high rates of clinical treatment failure,” the authors reported. It was just a small study, but it paints a stark picture of what doctors are against.
Antibiotics are useful and have saved millions of lives.
Still, if they kill off a large portion of Lactobacillus, it can create an imbalance. And can develop into bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common vaginal disorder in women. This condition allows bacteria to set up sticky biofilms. These can resist being flushed out by the immune system or medications. “BV sets you up for all viral, bacterial and sexual infections.” Dr Mel Hest, an associate professor and director of the Women’s Health Research Program at the University of Health, told Salon.
That includes HIV, herpes, HPV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomonas and, of course, Mycoplasma testing at home or a clinic near me in London. BV can also result in infertility and preterm birth while encouraging HPV to develop into cervical cancers. Herbst-Kralovetz has studied how both Mgen and BV can facilitate infections. It’s by building models that resemble the vaginal microbiome. And the tiny jungle of bacteria, viruses and fungi that grow inside a vagina. First, her lab uses a rotating bioreactor, a kind of vat developed by NASA that is useful for growing microbes.
Then, they fill the bioreactor with tiny plastic beads coated in a protein called collagen.
These beads create healthy environments for growing human epithelial cells, which cover all internal and external surfaces of your body. In one 2013 experiment published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Herbst-Kralovetz and her team used this bioreactor vagina model. It was used to show how Mycoplasma Tests use chemistry. It somehow can change its environment to its liking, not only for itself but for other unwanted guests. This helps confirm previous research from Africa that found female patients tested for Men were more likely to acquire HIV.
This model can be useful for understanding how STIs gain a foothold.
And develop cancers and reproductive issues so medical experts can design ways to fight them better. In the meantime, there have been some advances in the laboratory testing used to detect Mgen. As detailed in a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Like most STIs, humans are unlikely ever fully to eradicate Mgen. We need to keep a better eye on it. Developing better tools for fighting it and treating Mgen-tested patients with the same severity as other sexual pathogens.