Print E-mail
Volume 51, Number 2, April 2018

Prevalence of cervical colonization by Ureaplasma parvum, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma genitalium in childbearing age women by a commercially available multiplex real-time PCR: An Italian observational multicentre study

Christian Leli, Antonella Mencacci, Maria Agnese Latino, Pierangelo Clerici, Mario Rassu, Stefano Perito, Roberto Castronari, Eleonora Pistoni, Eugenio Luciano, Daniela De Maria, Cristina Morazzoni, Michela Pascarella, Silvia Bozza, Alessandra Sensini


Corresponding author:

Microbiology Section, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Sant'Andrea delle Fratte, 06129, Perugia, Italy
Corresponding author. Fax: +39 075 578 4298. 


Background and purpose: 

Mycoplasmas are frequently isolated from the genital tract. New molecular PCR-based methods for the detection of mycoplasmas can better define the real epidemiology of these microorganisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of mycoplasmas in a population of childbearing age women by means of PCR. 



This 21-month multicentre observational study was conducted at four Italian clinical microbiology laboratories. Women reporting symptoms of vaginitis/cervicitis, or with history of infertility, pregnancy, miscarriage or preterm birth were included. Detection of Ureaplasma parvum, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium was performed from cervical swabs by means of a commercially available multiplex real-time PCR.




a total of 1761 women fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. The overall prevalence was: U. parvum 38.3%, U. urealyticum 9%, M. hominis 8.6% and M. genitalium 0.6%. The proportion of foreign patients positive for U. parvum was significantly higher compared to Italian patients (37% vs 30.1%, p = 0.007) and also for overall mycoplasma colonization (53.4% vs 45.8%, p = 0.011). The number of symptomatic patients positive for M. hominis was significantly higher than that of negative controls (2.9% vs 1%, p = 0.036). A significant positive trend in mycoplasma colonization was found in relation to the pregnancy week for U. urealyticum (p = 0.015), M. hominis (p = 0.044) and for overall mycoplasma colonization (p = 0.002). 



multiplex RT-PCR can be a valuable tool to evaluate the real epidemiology of cervical mycoplasma colonization. 


Key words:

Genital mycoplasmas, Mycoplasma genitalium, Mycoplasma hominis, Ureaplasma parvum, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Real-time PCR