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Simultaneous detection and identification of STI pathogens by multiplex Real-Time PCR in genital tract specimens in a selected area of Apulia, a region of Southern Italy



Genital tract infections are globally a major cause of morbidity in sexually active individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and associations of co-infections of Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Trichomonas vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis (MH), Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU) and Ureaplasma parvum (UP) in specimens collected from female (SF) and male (SM) patients.


1575 samples from 1575 individuals from the geographical area around Bari, Apulia region in Southern Italy, were collected and analyzed by a multiplex Real-Time PCR (mRT-PCR) (AnyplexTM II STI-7, Seegene, Inc., Seoul, Korea) assay.


455/1575 (28.89%) samples resulted positive for at least one of the targets named above. Statistically significant differences in prevalence of the pathogens between SF and SM were not detected except for UP (24.92% in SF vs 8.91% in SM). Prevalence of co-infections was 6.84 and 3.96% in SF and SM, respectively. Moreover, MH presence in SF, but not in SM, was associated with UU and UP.


Our data suggest different patterns of infections between females and male and the importance of an increased vigilance of sexually transmitted pathogens to reduce the burden on general population and the sequelae or the complications on reproductive organs.

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Correspondence to Raffaele Del Prete.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

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Del Prete, R., Ronga, L., Lestingi, M. et al. Simultaneous detection and identification of STI pathogens by multiplex Real-Time PCR in genital tract specimens in a selected area of Apulia, a region of Southern Italy. Infection 45, 469–477 (2017).

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  • Genital tract
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Co-infections
  • Multiplex Real-Time PCR