Developing a Standardized Test to Detect Mycoplasma Genitalium

Researchers at John Hopkins University are looking to develop a test to detect Mycoplasma Genitalium, also known as MG, a sexually transmitted bacteria that can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women if not treated properly.

With no approved, standardized test available to detect the STD, healthcare professionals hope to develop a test similar to SpeedX, which is currently being used in Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. According to a recent article, the Australia-based test also checks for biomarkers linked to antibiotic resistance, so doctors can determine whether a patient requires advanced treatment.

MG is more common than gonorrhea. Symptoms of MG can be similar to gonorrhea and chlamydia but often there are no signs of an infection. Some researchers also believe women who develop multiple cases of pelvic inflammatory disease might have been treated for the wrong STD. A majority of carriers are not aware an infection has taken hold until more severe symptoms arise.

While scientists have known about the bacterial disease since 1980, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially acknowledged the disease in 2015. Given the lack of symptoms associated with MG, concern is rising about the risk of the disease spreading. Some strains have also been found to be resistant to antibiotics, limiting treatment options.