Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Ureaplasma spp. and Mycoplasma hominis isolated from semen samples of infertile men in Shanghai, China from 2011 to 2016

  • Y.-H. Zhou
  • H.-X. Ma
  • Y. Yang
  • W.-M. Gu
Original Article


This study was conducted to estimate the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance rate of Ureaplasma spp. and Mycoplasma hominis that were isolated from the semen samples of infertile males in Shanghai, China from 2011 to 2016. A total of 5016 infertile males and 412 healthy male controls were examined. The cultivation, identification, and antimicrobial susceptibilities of Ureaplasma spp. and M. hominis were assessed by using a Mycoplasma IST kit that was performed in parallel to selective solid agar cultivation. The positive rate of genital Mycoplasma infections in infertile men from 2011 to 2016 was 30–55%, which initially decreased during the first four years and then increased in the last two. Two distinct high-risk age ranges of Mycoplasma infections were observed: 26–30 years (37.8%) and 31–35 years (30.7%). Semisynthetic tetracyclines and macrolide antibiotics were the most effective agents against Ureaplasma spp. Among the fluoroquinolones, sparfloxacin and levofloxacin were also effective. Antibiotic resistance of Ureaplasma spp. against tetracyclines and macrolide antibiotics in the last six years did not vary significantly. However, the rate of resistance to fluoroquinolones (except norfloxacin) and spectinomycin decreased in the last two years. The rate of genital Mycoplasma presence in infertile patients between the ages of 26 and 35 years in Shanghai was high. The prevalence of genital Mycoplasma decreased during the first four years and then increased, with a peak in 2016. Doxycycline, minocycline, josamycin, and sparfloxacin can be recommended for first-line empirical treatment of Mycoplasma infections in infertile men in Shanghai, China.



We thank LetPub ( for its linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript.

Author contributions

YHZ and HXM designed the study and drafted the manuscript. WMG and YY interpreted data and revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.


The Key Programs of Science and Technology Commission Foundation of Changning District, Shanghai (CNKW2016Z05) supported this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics statements

This study was initiated after receiving approval from the Institutional Review Board of the Shanghai Provincial Crops Hospital of the Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces and carried out according to the Helsinki Declaration. Informed patient consent was obtained from all the participants. Ethics committee approval for the study protocol and written informed consent were obtained for this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Data sharing statement

There will be no additional unpublished data from the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical LaboratoryShanghai Crops Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed PoliceShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Health Management Medicine, Shanghai East HospitalTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Clinical LaboratoryShanghai Dermatology HospitalShanghaiChina

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