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Mycoplasma genitalium (MG): what it is and why doctors are anxious

13 July 2018

It can cause sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in both men and women, Schaffner said.

The news comes after health officials a year ago warned that millions of young people are shunning protection because risky sex has become acceptable once again, three decades after the Aids epidemic made condom use essential.

Dr Paddy Horner, consultant senior lecturer in sexual health at Bristol University and one of the authors of the new guidelines, said: "This is not curing the infection and is causing antimicrobial resistance in MG patients".

BASHH recommends that MG is treated with a seven-day course of the antibiotic, doxycycline, followed by a course of azithromycin.

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Dr Helen Fifer, consultant microbiologist at Public Health England, said: "The new BASHH guideline on MG is a positive step forward to improving testing and diagnosis".

First identified in the 1980s, mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is hard to diagnose because it causes few or no symptoms, but the complications can be risky.

If left untreated, MG, which was first discovered in the early 1980s and spreads through unprotected sex, can also develop a resistance to antibiotics. Even if you have a regular partner, it's best to get tested at least once a year. They were put on antibiotics for two weeks and after further tests both tested negative.

Speaking about his experience, a person who was infected by the bacterium, told BBC, "I was diagnosed with MG a year ago after meeting my new partner".

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"I am now certain it has returned and I am awaiting further test results".

"I think clinics should test for MG as part of their sexual health screening process, as this would have been picked up at the start for me".

"It's yet another good reason to pack the condoms for the summer holidays - and actually use them".

"We are asking the government directly to make this funding available to prevent a public health emergency waiting to happen and which is already spiralling out of control".

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The most recent figures from Public Health England show that diagnoses of syphilis are at their highest level for almost 70 years, with 7,137 cases in 2017, a 20 per cent rise on the previous year, and more than twice that recorded in 2012. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

Mycoplasma genitalium (MG): what it is and why doctors are anxious