Mycoplasmas are microorganisms that occupy an intermediate position between bacteria, fungi and viruses. Usually, mycoplasmas attach to epithelial cells – the mucous lining of the intestinal, respiratory and genitourinary tracts. They parasitize in host cells.
Among a sufficiently large number of mycoplasmas found in humans, only 4 species can cause disease under certain conditions. One of them – mycoplasma pneumonia – affects the respiratory system, causing inflammatory diseases of the throat and bronchi of the lungs.
The other three – mycoplasma genitalium, mycoplasma hominis, ureaplasma urealiticum – are the causative agents of genitourinary mycoplasmosis, which currently occupies a significant place among sexually transmitted diseases.
Mycoplasmosis is a disease caused by mycoplasmas. In inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary system, mycoplasmas are found in 60-90% of cases, they are also detected in 5-15% of healthy individuals.
Infection occurs predominantly through sexual contact and extremely rarely – through everyday life. The duration of the latent period of mycoplasmosis is from 3 days to 5 weeks, on average 15-19 days.
Lesions are characterized by a variety of manifestations.
Mycoplasmas can cause
- premature birth, early discharge of amniotic fluid, fever during childbirth and in the postpartum period in mothers,
- development of pneumonia,
- meningitis in children,
- morphological changes in sperm.
As a rule, the presence of mycoplasmas in the body is characterized by erased, asymptomatic forms. Approximately 40% of patients do not feel any obvious symptoms until a stressful situation, such as abortion or severe hypothermia, activates the infection, often leading to quite serious complications.
Mycoplasma in women
The main complaint of women infected with mycoplasmas is the presence of abundant irritating discharge from the genital tract, moderate itching, discomfort when urinating, pain during intercourse. These sensations can periodically intensify, then decrease on their own. Mycoplasmas more often provoke inflammatory diseases of the uterus, ovaries and tubes, bladder and kidneys.
Mycoplasma in men
Most infected men do not experience any symptoms of the disease, with the exception of occasional mild cuts when urinating. But over time, this infection can provoke the development of chronic prostatitis, kidney inflammation. There is a possible connection between mycoplasma infection and some types of male infertility.
clinically does not differ significantly from lesions of other origin (gonorrhea, trichomoniasis). With the defeat of the urethra in men, scanty discharge is observed in the morning. In most cases, the defeat of the epididymis is accompanied by vague pulling pain in the groin, perineum, in the scrotum, and then there is an increase in the epididymis, reddening of the skin of the scrotum.
Mycoplasma in children
The baby can become infected with mycoplasmas from an infected mother during childbirth, passing through the “dirty” birth canal. The course of mycoplasma infection in children is different from that of adults – the broncho-pulmonary tree is usually affected – inflammation of the pharynx, nose, bronchi and lungs is caused. The intensity of the process depends on the state of the child’s immune system – weak, mycoplasma-infected children get sick more often and more severely.
Diagnosis of the presence of mycoplasmas is rather complicated – there are no signs characteristic only of this disease, and the mycoplasmas themselves are so small that they cannot be detected with conventional microscopy. Mycoplasmas are detected either by smears examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR – DNA diagnostics) or by immunofluorescence, or by examining blood from a vein for the presence of antibodies to mycoplasma.
Treatment of mycoplasmas is necessarily carried out together with a sexual partner. Otherwise, re-infection is inevitable – no resistance to this disease arises.
Therapy of mycoplasmosis is carried out with antibiotics of choice.
Azithromycin – 0.25 g orally once a day for 6 days
Doxycycline – 0.1 g orally 2 times a day for 7-10 days
Midecamycin – 0.4 g orally 3 times a day for 7-10 days
Minocycline – 0.1 g orally 2 times a day for 7-10 days
Pefloxacin – 0.6 g orally once a day for 7-10 days
Erythromycin – 0.5 g orally 4 times a day for 7-10 days
Treatment of pregnant women (after 12 weeks of pregnancy) is carried out with erythromycin.
When prescribing treatment for patients with mycoplasmas, the sexual partners are subject to examination, and if an infection is detected, treatment.