Microbiological cultures of vaginal smears for Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma are used for the laboratory diagnosis of infection by these microorganisms, to determine their susceptibility to antimicrobial agents, as well as monitoring of these patients.
Mycoplasma species are the smallest free-living microorganisms and are unique among the prokaryotes in that they lack a cell wall. Their characteristic is responsible for their biological properties, including the lack of response to Gram staining and the resistance to many common antimicrobial agents, including beta-lactams. Mycoplasmas are usually associated with mucous membranes. They are usually found extracellularly in the respiratory and urogenital tracts and rarely infiltrate the submucosa, except in cases of immunosuppression or medical manipulations, so they can enter the bloodstream and transmit to many organs and tissues. Some species appear as intracellular pathogens.
Mycoplasma hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum, also known as genital mycoplasmas, are opportunistic pathogens and cause infections in susceptible individuals. Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis can be isolated from the urethra, urine, and vaginal discharge of sexually active individuals. More than 60% of women have Ureaplasma urealyticum in their genital system and remain asymptomatic. Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma can be transmitted directly between humans (through genital and oral contact), from mother to infant (either during childbirth or intrauterine), or iatrogenically through various manipulations and tissue transplantation.
Mycoplasma species do not cause vaginitis but may multiply in bacterial vaginitis patients and contribute to the disease. Whether Ureaplasma infection causes infertility remains questionable. Ureaplasma species can cause placental inflammation and can invade the amniotic sac, causing infection and various other pathological conditions of pregnancy, including premature birth.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for diagnosing and monitoring all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon, we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory, and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.