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Mycoplasma hominis has been associated with a number of clinically significant infections, although it is also part of the normal genital flora.
Mycoplasma hominis may be found in the respiratory specimens and spinal fluid of neonates. Although the clinical significance of such findings is often unclear, as spontaneous clinical recovery may occur without specific treatment, in premature infants, clinical manifestations of meningoencephalitis have been reported.
Mycoplasma hominis may play a role in some cases of pelvic inflammatory disease, usually in combination with other organisms. Mycoplasma hominis may be isolated from amniotic fluid of women with preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, spontaneous term labor, or chorioamnionitis; there is evidence that it may be involved in postpartum fever or fever following abortion, usually as a complication of endometritis.
Mycoplasma hominis has rarely been associated with septic arthritis (including prosthetic joint infection), pyelonephritis, intraabdominal infection, wound infection, endocarditis, central nervous system infection (including meningoencephalitis, brain abscess, central nervous system shunt infection and subdural empyema), pneumonia, and infected pleural and pericardial effusions. Extragenital infection typically occurs in those with hypogammaglobulinemia or depressed cell-mediated immunity; in lung transplant recipients in particular, Mycoplasma hominis has been associated with pleuritis and mediastinitis. Recent evidence implicates donor transmission in some cases of Mycoplasma hominis infection in lung transplant recipients.
PCR detection of Mycoplasma hominis is sensitive, specific, and provides same-day results. Although this organism can occasionally be detected in routine plate cultures, this is neither a rapid nor a sensitive approach to detection. Specialized cultures are more time consuming than the described PCR assay. The described PCR assay has replaced conventional culture for Mycoplasma hominis at Mayo Medical Laboratories due to its speed and equivalent performance to culture.
Rapid, sensitive, and specific identification of Mycoplasma hominis from synovial fluid, genitourinary, reproductive, lower respiratory sources, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, and wound specimens
A positive PCR result for the presence of a specific sequence found within the Mycoplasma hominis tuf gene indicates the presence of Mycoplasma hominis DNA in the specimen.
A negative PCR result indicates the absence of detectable Mycoplasma hominis DNA in the specimen, but does not rule out infection as falsely negative results may occur due to inhibition of PCR, sequence variability underlying the primers and/or probes, or the presence of Mycoplasma hominis in quantities less than the limit of detection of the assay.
Interfering substances may affect the accuracy of this assay; results should always be interpreted in conjunction with clinical and epidemiological findings
Since Mycoplasma hominis may be part of the normal flora, results should be interpreted accordingly.
This test does not detect other mycoplasmas or ureaplasmas (including Mycoplasma pneumoniae, a common cause of community acquired pneumonia).
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2. Waites KB, Taylor-Robinson D: Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma. In Manual of Clinical Microbiology. Tenth edition. Edited by J Versalovic. ASM Press, Washington, DC, 2011
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