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J Clin Lab Anal. 2002;16(2):71-5.

Ureaplasma urealyticum biovar determination in women attending a family planning clinic in Guiné-Bissau, using polymerase chain reaction of the multiple-banded antigen gene.

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Unidade de Doenças Sexualmente Transmitidas, Centro de Malária e outras Doenças Tropicais, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.


Although Ureaplasma urealyticum is commonly found in the genital tract of asymptomatic women, it has been suggested that only certain subgroups of this microorganism are disease associated. Vaginal specimens were collected to determine the distribution of U. urealyticum biovars and to estimate their possible association with age, absence of lactobacilli, and tetracycline resistance. Of the 94 women studied, 40 (43%) carried U. urealyticum and were biotyped by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Twenty-nine (73%) strains presented with parvo biovar, 10 (25%) with T960 biovar, and one (2.5%) with both biovars. Parvo biovar was predominant in all age groups and appears to be more frequent in women 20-25 years of age (41%), whereas T960 was common in women 30-35 years of age (22%). In this study, U. urealyticum was not associated with changes in vaginal flora, although the inverse apparently was true for Mycoplasma hominis. However, T960 biovar was more associated with the loss of lactobacilli than was parvo biovar. The number of T960 biovar strains that presented tetracycline (40%) or multiple (100%) resistance was higher than that of parvo biovar strains (27% and 69%, respectively).

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