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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 959816, 9 pages
Review Article

Mycoplasma genitalium: An Emerging Cause of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

1Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
2Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Received 14 June 2011; Revised 10 September 2011; Accepted 13 September 2011

Academic Editor: Thomas Cherpes

Copyright © 2011 Catherine L. Haggerty and Brandie D. Taylor. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted pathogen that is increasingly identified among women with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Although Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae frequently cause PID, up to 70% of cases have an unidentified etiology. This paper summarizes evidence linking M. genitalium to PID and its long-term reproductive sequelae. Several PCR studies have demonstrated that M. genitalium is associated with PID, independent of gonococcal and chlamydial infection. Most have been cross-sectional, although one prospective investigation suggested that M. genitalium was associated with over a thirteenfold risk of endometritis. Further, a nested case-control posttermination study demonstrated a sixfold increased risk of PID among M. genitalium positive patients. Whether or not M. genitalium upper genital tract infection results in long-term reproductive morbidity is unclear, although tubal factor infertility patients have been found to have elevated M. genitalium antibodies. Several lines of evidence suggest that M. genitalium is likely resistant to many frequently used PID treatment regimens. Correspondingly, M. genitalium has been associated with treatment failure following cefoxitin and doxycycline treatment for clinically suspected PID. Collectively, strong evidence suggests that M. genitalium is associated with PID. Further study of M. genitalium upper genital tract infection diagnosis, treatment and long-term sequelae is warranted.