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Background: Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) is a sexually transmitted pathogen associated with inflammatory syndromes in men and women. Macrolides and fluoroquinolones are recommended MG treatments. The frequency of MG strains with macrolide resistance-associated mutations (MRMs) and quinolone resistance-associated mutations (qRMs) is increasing worldwide, however these data are sparse in populations in the United States.

Methods: We investigated the prevalence of MG infections with MRMs and qRMs and MG infection concordance within African American couples in Birmingham, AL. We used a real-time polymerase chain reaction to detect MG and identify MRMs. quinolone resistance-associated mutations were detected using traditional polymerase chain reactions amplifying regions in gyrA, gyrB, parC, and parE. The MG concordance in couples was evaluated by MG positivity and MG genotypes.

Results: Oral, anal, urine, and/or vaginal specimens were tested from 116 couples. Twenty-eight (12.1%) participants comprising 22 couples tested MG-positive (11.2% in men and 12.9% in women). Macrolide resistance-associated mutations were detected in 17 (60.7%) MG-positive participants, with gender-specific resistance rates of 69.2% for men and 53.3% for women. quinolone resistance-associated mutations were detected in 3 (11.1%) MG-positive participants, all of whom also had MRMs. By MG positivity status, 27.3% of couples were concordant. If MG strain genotypes are also considered, then concordance was 20.0%.

Conclusions: Among heterosexual African Americans with MG infection, about 60% had strains with MRMs and 11% had strains with both MRMs and qRMs, highlighting the potential for MG treatment failure to not only macrolides, but also quinolones. These findings may help to guide clinicians in MG testing and treatment decisions in the United States.

(C) Copyright 2019 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association