FDA permits marketing of first M. genitalium diagnostic test


The Food and Drug Administration has permitted marketing of the Aptima Mycoplasma genitalium assay, the first test for the diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by the M. genitalium bacterium, the agency reported in a press release.

FDA icon Wikimedia Commons/FitzColinGerald/Creative Commons License

M. genitalium is associated with nongonococcal urethritis in men and cervicitis in women, causing 15%-30% of persistent or recurring urethritis cases and 10%-30% of cervicitis cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women. The assay is a nucleic acid amplification test, which can detect the bacterium in urine, as well as urethral, penile meatal, endocervical, or vaginal swab samples.

In a clinical study of 11,774 samples, the Aptima assay correctly identified M. genitalium in about 90% of vaginal, male urethral, male urine, and penile samples. It also correctly identified the bacterium in female urine and endocervical samples 78% and 82% of the time, respectively. The test was even more accurate in identifying samples that did not have M. genitalium present, according to an FDA press release

“In the past, it has been hard to diagnose this organism. By being able to detect it more reliably, doctors may be able to more carefully tailor treatment and use medicines most likely to be effective,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in the press release. “Having accurate and reliable tests to identify the specific bacteria that’s causing an infection can assist doctors in choosing the right treatment for the right infection, which can reduce overuse of antibiotics and help in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”

Find the full press release on the FDA website.

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