Mycoplasmosis, also called mycoplasmal infection, is an infectious disease of people and animals that cause mycoplasma. In the human body, 16 species of mycoplasmas have been identified, six of which live on the mucous membranes of the genital organs and urinary tract. The remaining ten 10 species live on the mucous membranes of the mouth and pharynx.
The most common types of pathogens are:
- Mycoplasma hominis
- Ureaplasma urealyticum
- Mycoplasma genitalium
Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma genitalium are the immediate pathogens of mycoplasmosis. These microorganisms are related to urogenital mycoplasmosis. Like all typical representatives of sexually transmitted infections, they cause such diseases: cervicitis, vaginitis, prostatitis, pyelonephritis and other diseases of the genitourinary system. There are several opinions of medical scientists on the role of mycoplasmas. Some believe that mycoplasmas are absolutely pathogenic, according to another point of view, these are harmless bacteria. In addition, mycoplasmas are very common – in a population of up to 35%. Because of these factors, doctors do not have a single point of view as to whether people with an infection should be treated and, if so, how to do it correctly.
In recent years, cases of infections caused by chlamydia, viruses, mycoplasmas, or mixed infections have become much more frequent. It is very difficult to combat them, as they are very resistant to the action of antibiotics, and also because of the specific reactions of the body in response to therapy. Such infections today predominate over classical venereal diseases, for example, gonorrhea and syphilis. To a wide prevalence are several factors: the difficulty in detecting mycoplasma infection, the possibility of transmission by sexual and domestic methods, inadequate treatment.
Epidemiology of Mycoplasmosis
Mycoplasmosis is very often found in representatives of all strata of the population – as claimed by different authors, in 10-50% of people. According to American statistics, ureaplasmas were detected in 80% of women who consulted a doctor with signs of genital infection, as well as 51% of women with impaired fertility. According to our statistics, ureaplasmas and mycoplasmas are much more often sown in patients suffering from candidiasis, herpes and gardnerellez. In addition, they often affect the body of women and in much higher titles. All this indicates infection with mycoplasma infections during sexual intercourse.
There is still a vertical path of infection, leading to infection of the unborn child in the womb. Recent studies indicate that a contact-household pathway of mycoplasmosis is also possible. You can get infected either from a sick person or from a healthy carrier. In the adult population, cases of sexual transmission are more frequent. In addition, open orogenic contacts are very important, as more than 50% of men are infected, as mycoplasma does not die for a long time in the oral cavity.
Mycoplasmas can be infected from the mother during childbirth. Doctors detect on the genitals almost 57% of newborn girls Mycoplasma hominis, checking children if they suspect a mother’s disease. As for boys, the incidence of such infection is much less.
If we are talking about the contact-household method, the transmission of infection most often occurs:
- through linen, both lower and bed;
- when using hygiene items together, in particular, through a loofah and a towel;
- during use of the toilet without special linings;
- through an unsterile instrument with gynecological examination.
Men do not often get infected by domestic means, and women suffer in 15-20% of cases. A much smaller number of people are infected with a household contact than with a sex worker. This is explained by the fact that mycoplasmas are viable in an external warm and humid environment only 2-6 hours. But this is enough to cause a non-sexual contamination of family members. Therefore, it is important, if mycoplasmas are detected in one of the family members, immediately to conduct a survey not only of the wife or husband, but also of all who live in the house, this is especially relevant for women and girls.
Statistics argue that schoolgirls who do not have sex life, Mycoplasma hominis detect only in 8-17% of cases (with vertical and contact-household infection). People who have sex are more likely to get infected with Mycoplasma hominis – carriers are considered to be 20-50% of women. In men, infections are detected less frequently. In addition, it is important to consider that Mycoplasma hominis is much more common than Mycoplasma genitalium.
Clinical Picture of Mycoplasmosis (Symptomatology)
The diagnosis of “urogenital mycoplasmosis” is difficult, since the disease does not have unique symptoms. Approximately in 40% of cases of the disease, mycoplasmosis has a latent course, the patient does not suspect its condition. Microorganisms are activated. If the body is under stress, mycoplasmas become very active, signs begin to appear, but they are common, typical for almost all infections of the urogenital system.
When mycoplasma affects the body of a man, the following symptoms appear: morning ungrowth clear discharge from the urethra, drawing pain in the groin, slight pain and burning sensation during urination. If mycoplasma affects the prostate gland, there are signs of prostatitis: pain with frequent acts of urination, pain in the lower abdomen and in the perineum, decreased erection and potency, soreness with erased early orgasm.
When the epididymis epididymis is infected, there is often an unsettling traumatic pain in the groin, in the perineum, in the scrotum. After a while, the appendages become larger, the reddening of the skin of the scrotum is noticeably red. Very dangerous changes, which as a result of mycoplasmosis appear in spermatozoa. Mycoplasma hominis badly affects the reproductive function of men, can lead to the death of the tissues of the seminiferous tubules. In the study of prostate secretion in patients, approximately 30-45% of ureaplasmas are detected. In addition, if their number of colony forming units (CFU) is from 10 000 to 100 000 per ml, this indicates their etiological role in the occurrence of prostatitis.
Male infertility is often provoked by inflammatory processes, although often its cause is a violation of the formation of mature spermatozoa. As a result of ureaplasmic infection, the mobility of spermatozoa decreases, immature or morphologically altered cells appear – their spirals occur, “fluffy tails” appear, formed due to adsorption of a large number of ureaplasmas on the posterior part of the spermatozoon. The danger of ureaplasma is also that they prevent the sperm from penetrating into the egg cell. From three to five years, the inflammatory process passes asymptomatically, but it leads to the formation of scars in the epididymis and in the prostate (in particular, in the vas deferens), which interferes with the movement of spermatozoa and causes obstructive infertility.
Mycoplasmosis in female patients also manifests itself as other infections of the urogenital system. We list the main signs of the presence of mycoplasmas: transparent vaginal discharge of varying intensity, a feeling of itching and burning during urination, inflammation in the uterus and appendages – pain in the lower abdomen and during sexual intercourse. Mycoplasmosis is especially severe during pregnancy, it can lead to spontaneous abortion and early childbirth. During the very process of the birth of a child, amniotic fluid can too early to withdraw, fever occurs after childbirth, meningitis and pneumonia develop in the infant.
Mycoplasmosis, in varying degrees of intensity, begins to manifest itself 3-5 weeks after infection. In most cases, the disease manifests itself not very significant symptoms, patients, especially women, they practically do not bother. For this reason, if a partner has signs of inflammation, both need to be fully examined in order to identify hidden infections.