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Int J STD AIDS. 2010 Mar;21(3):191-4. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2009.009262.

Viral and bacterial aetiologies of male urethritis: findings of a high prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus.

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Department of Dermatology and Venereology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden.


Male urethritis is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, the aetiology is still unclear in many cases. In this study the prevalences of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, cytomegalovirus (CMV), adenovirus, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium and Ureaplasma urealyticum (including subtyping) were investigated. Samples from 112 male STI attendants with microscopically verified urethritis and from a control group of 103 men without clinical or microscopic signs of urethritis were analysed. Prevalences in the urethritis group compared with the controls were as follows: EBV 21%, 6% (P < 0.01); C. trachomatis 15%, 3% (P < 0.01); M. genitalium 6%, 1% (P = 0.067) and U. urealyticum 10%, 10% (ns). The results for HSV-1, HSV-2, CMV and adenovirus were negative in patients, and therefore not analysed in the controls. EBV was shown to be an independent predictor of urethritis and may play a role in its pathogenesis.

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