Mycoplasma hominis – a cause of PID and BV

Mycoplasma hominis is a pathogenic species in the Mycoplasma genus, being one of the smallest free-living organisms known – that is, they can replicate by themselves. These bacteria do not have a cell wall, and therefore can not be Gram stained. Gram staining identifies bacteria by their cell wall staining or not staining upon the application of purple dye. M. hominis can penetrate human cells and has a penchant for the human urogenital tract.

Mycoplasma hominis likely has the highest probability of being implicated in genital infections in women, and can cause infections in newborns and extragenital infections, particularly in those who are immunosuppressed. Antibiotics often fail to remove this bacteria due to a high level of natural resistance to these medicines.

M. hominis is associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, bacterial vaginosis, and male infertility. It is considered a sexually transmitted infection.

     Testing for M. hominis

Using a glucose agar medium, M. hominis will colonise within 24-48 hours in a ‘fried egg’ arrangement.

     About M. hominis

M. hominis uses energy in an atypical fashion, and relies upon the degradation of arginine. (Other mycoplasmas do not use this same method.) DNA sequencing for M. hominis is at this time incomplete.

     Other Mycoplasma bacteria