New Horizons in Mycoplasma genitalium Treatment

Catriona S. Bradshaw, Jorgen Skov Jensen, Ken B. Waites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Mycoplasmagenitalium is an important sexually transmitted pathogen responsible for both male and female genital tract disease. Appreciation of its significance in human disease has been hampered by its slow growth in culture, difficulty in isolating it, and lack of commercial molecular-based tests for rapid detection. Comparatively few in vitro data on antimicrobial susceptibility are available due to the scarcity of clinical isolates and difficulty in performing susceptibility tests to determine minimum inhibitory concentrations for M. genitalium. Antimicrobial agents that inhibit protein synthesis such as macrolides, along with fluoroquinolones that inhibit DNA replication, have been the treatments of choice for M. genitalium infections. Even though international guidelines recommend azithromycin as first-line treatment, rapid spread of macrolide resistance as well as emergence of quinolone resistance has occurred. Increasing rates of treatment failure have resulted in an urgent need for new therapies and renewed interest in other classes such as aminocyclitols, phenicols, and streptogramins as treatment alternatives. Limited data for new investigational antimicrobials such as the ketolide solithromycin suggest that this drug may eventually prove useful in management of some resistant M. genitalium infections, although it is not likely to achieve cure rates >80% in macrolide-resistant strains, in a similar range as recently reported for pristinamycin. However, agents with completely new targets and/or mechanisms that would be less likely to show cross-resistance with currently available drugs may hold the greatest promise. Lefamulin, a pleuromutilin, and new nonquinolone topoisomerase inhibitors are attractive possibilities that require further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S412-S419
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2017


  • antimicrobial resistance
  • Mycoplasma genitalium
  • new treatments

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