Novel probe-based melting curve assays for the characterization of fluoroquinolone resistance in Mycoplasma genitalium

Jacob A. Tickner, Catriona S. Bradshaw, Gerald L. Murray, David M. Whiley, Emma L. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mycoplasma genitalium infection is a sexually transmitted infection that has rapidly become resistant to mainstay treatments. While individualized treatment approaches have been recommended and adopted for macrolides, individualized therapy for fluoroquinolones has not yet been explored, due to a lack of commercial molecular assays and a lack of confidence in specific mutations associated with resistance. In another recent study, we defined a clear role and diagnostic utility in focusing on the absence of resistance mutations to inform microbial cure with fluoroquinolone antimicrobials. Methods: We developed two proof-of-concept molecular tests that focus on detection of M. genitalium and characterization of WT parC sequences that are strongly linked to fluoroquinolone susceptibility. Results: We screened a total of 227 M. genitalium-positive samples using novel molecular beacon and dual hybridization probe assays. These assays were able to detect M. genitalium and characterize fluoroquinolone susceptibility in 143/227 (63%) samples, based on clear differences in melting peak temperatures. The results of these molecular assays were in 100% agreement with 'gold standard' Sanger sequencing. Additionally, WT parC sequences were readily distinguished from M. genitalium samples harbouring parC mutations of known or suspected clinical significance. The ability of the assays to successfully characterize fluoroquinolone susceptibility and resistance was reduced in low M. genitalium load samples. Conclusions: These proof-of-concept assays have considerable potential to improve individualized treatment approaches and rationalize tests of cure for M. genitalium infection. The ability to initiate individualized treatment in up to two-thirds of cases will enhance antimicrobial stewardship for this challenging pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1592-1599
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022
  • ARC Research Hub to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

    Guy, R. J., Broom, A., Whiley, D., Bradshaw, C., Applegate, T., Treloar, C. J., Wiseman, V., Huston, W. M., Williamson, D. A., Kaldor, J., Vallely, A., Hocking, J. S., Regan, D. G., Donovan, B., Kelly-Hanku, A. M., Mokany, E., Todd, A. V., Persing, D., Tenover, F., Graham, J., Phillips, J., Boulos, R., Field, P., Thistlethwaite, J., Chomley, P., Fairley, C., Lewis, D. A., McNulty, A., Lahra, M. M., Murray, G. L., Pomat, W. S. & Phanuphak, N.


    Project: Research

Cite this