Mycoplasma hominis: More than just An Innocent Bystander

Recently, a patient with an immunodeficiency was admitted in our hospital with fever, pain and a large abscess in the pelvic region, after an incomplete treatment of prostatitis with ciprofloxacin, for which no causal agent was not sought. For several weeks, he was treated with different beta-lactam antibiotics and vancomycin, however only a partial clinical response was achieved. On the other hand, the development of de novo abscess formation in the lumbar region, and the development of cutaneous ulcers and abscesses were seen. Finally, after several weeks of treatment, in a cutaneous biopsy Mycoplasma hominis was identified with the 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

Mycoplasma hominis
Mycoplasma hominis

M. hominis belongs to the commensal flora of the genitourinary tract, and the presence is associated with a low socio-economic status, hormonal changes, ethnicity and the number of sexual partners. Asymptomatic colonization in sexual active women is more prevalent compared to non-sexual women, postmenopausal women, and to sexual active men. During pregnancy the colonization rate of the genital tract by M. hominis varies in different studies from 5 to 75%. Newborns are colonized during passage of the birth canal, thereafter the colonization rate decreases and M. hominis may be found only in small numbers of pre-pubertal girls. M. hominis has been associated with both genitourinary tract and non-genital infections.

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