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J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Feb;42(2):683-92.

Use of TaqMan 5' nuclease real-time PCR for quantitative detection of Mycoplasma genitalium DNA in males with and without urethritis who were attendees at a sexually transmitted disease clinic.

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  • 1Mycoplasma Laboratory, Statens Serum Institut, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark. jsj@ssi.dk


Mycoplasma genitalium is a cause of nongonococcal urethritis, particularly in patients not infected with Chlamydia trachomatis. A quantitative 5' nuclease assay (TaqMan PCR) was developed and validated. The assay detected a fragment of the MgPa adhesin gene by use of a TaqMan MGB (minor groove binder) probe and included an internal processing control to detect PCR inhibition. Urethral swab specimens and first-void urine samples from M. genitalium-positive men were examined, and the M. genitalium DNA load was correlated to symptoms and signs. The assay consistently detected <5 genome copies without cross-reactions with other mycoplasmas. Urine and urethral swab specimens from men with urethritis had higher M. genitalium DNA loads than specimens from men without urethritis. However, a very broad overlap of DNA loads between patients with and without urethritis was observed. Urethral swab specimens from patients with urethral discharge had a significantly higher DNA load than specimens from patients without discharge. This correlation was not found in first-void urine specimens.

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