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Another STD Worth Talking AboutToday weíll tell you about a tiny microbe with big potential impact on public health.

It is actually the smallest bacterial pathogen known! Mycoplasma genitalium is an emerging sexually transmitted disease or STD in the US.

The infection rate is up to four percent among young adults — thatís millions of people!

Scientists here at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, along with other researchers, have recently shown that Mycoplasma genitalium can cause long-term infections in both men and women.

These infections lead to long-term inflammation in the reproductive tract.

In women, that could lead to difficulty becoming pregnant. The same risk comes with two other notorious STDs namely chlamydia and gonorrhea.

But unlike those STDs, of particular concern is the preliminary evidence showing Mycoplasma genitalium might also heighten your susceptibility to HIV infection.

Luckily antibiotics can treat this bacterium. Both doxycycline and axithromycin (azi-thro-mycin) have proven effective.

Donít be surprised if you havenít heard of this STD until now. Genital Mycoplasma infections are not routinely screened for in the US.

However, several reproductive tract syndromes in women including pelvic inflammatory disease and cervicitis are associated with Mycoplasma infection, so testing is on the rise.

Because itís an emerging threat, we still have a lot to learn. In the meantime, what can you do to protect yourself? You could practice abstinence – which is full proof against STDs. You could also be monogamous with a partner whose been tested for STDs.

The next best option is to use condoms which are very effective at preventing STDs including HIV. We canít emphasize enough how important this is.

You should not only protect yourself but those you care about.

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For more information…

Mycoplasma genitalium
A womenís health website that covers much of the basic information about this little talked about infection.
For more information…

Synthetic life ‘advance’ reported
BBC report of how a group of animal scientists have created a synthetic life form using the genome of Mycoplasma genitalium as a model for these studies.
For more information…

Mycoplasma genitalium
This is from MicrobeWiki, a student-edited microbiology resource that provides basic information about this unique bacterium.
For more information…


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