Aetiological agents of urethritis in symptomatic South African men attending a family practice

M. C. Le Roux, M. R. Ramoncha, A. Adam, A. A. Hoosen

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The objective was to determine the occurrence of four urethral pathogens in urine specimens from symptomatic men using transcription mediated amplification (TMA) assay. Urethral swab and urine specimens from 300 men presenting to a family practitioner were Gram stained and tested for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis and Mycoplasma genitalium using three TMA assays respectively. Except for T. vaginalis, the other recognized pathogens viz. N. gonorrhoeae, C. trachomatis and M. genitalium were detected in significantly larger numbers of patients with urethral discharge than in those with burning on micturition (BOM). The overall prevalences were 16.7% for N. gonorrhoeae, 12.3% C. trachomatis, 8.0% T. vaginalis and 17.3% M. genitalium. With regard to microscopic evidence of urethritis, significant associations were found for N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis, but not for M. genitalium and T. vaginalis. This study demonstrated that in symptomatic men attending family practice, M. genitalium and T. vaginalis are also important aetiological agents of urethritis and hence treatment strategies be they syndromic management or laboratory directed should cover for these causative agents. The microscopic diagnosis of urethritis may not be important for treatment strategies. The current syndromic treatment guidelines for developing countries including South Africa need modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-481
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Mycoplasma genitalium
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Symptomatic
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Urethritis


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