Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 1986  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-6  

Incidence of Ureaplasma urealyticum in nongonococcal urethritis (NGU).

KK Dabke, LL Deodhar, AA Gogate 

Correspondence Address:
K K Dabke

How to cite this article:
Dabke K K, Deodhar L L, Gogate A A. Incidence of Ureaplasma urealyticum in nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). J Postgrad Med 1986;32:85-6

How to cite this URL:
Dabke K K, Deodhar L L, Gogate A A. Incidence of Ureaplasma urealyticum in nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1986 [cited 2023 Jun 1 ];32:85-6
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The existence of Ureaplasma urealyticum (formerly known as T-mycoplasma) in human was first recognised by Shepard in 1956, who described in details the morphologic and cultural characteristics of this microorganisms.[1] Since then, Ureaplasma urealyticum is incriminated in various diseases like nongonococcal urethritis (NGU), prostatitis, balanoposthitis, Reiter's syndrome etc. in males. This paper describes the isolation and incidence of U. urealyticum in NGU.


Two hundred and twenty eight male patients in the age group of 20 to 45 years, suffering from urethritis and visiting the skin and venereology department of L.T.M. hospital were investigated. From each patient, urethral discharge and fresh urine samples were collected. Stuart's transport medium was used wherever necessary. The urine samples were centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 10minutes and urine sediment was used for examination. Processing of the samples was done as described in our previous work.[2] In short the urethral discharge and urine sediments were examined by:

(1) wet preparation for polymorphonuclear cells and Trichomonas vaginalis.

(2) Gram's staining for Neisseria gonorrhoeae and candida and Giemsa's staining for inclusion bodies of Chlamydia trachomatis and viruses like Herpes or CMV. The samples were cultured on (a) Thayer-Martin medium (b) McConkey's agar (c) Sabouraud's agar (d) PPLO agar/broth supplemented with arginine for (M. hominis) at pH 7 and (e) PPLO agar/broth supplemented with urea (for U. urealyticum) at pH 6-6.5.

A-7 agar medium supplied by Gibco laboratories was used to study the colonies of U. urealyticum. The liquid media were examined after 48 hours. For U. urealyticum, as soon as the colour change in the PPLO broth was noticed a subculturing into another broth and on A7 agar was done. Simultaneously, the presence of urea split ting organisms like Proteus and Klebsiella was ruled out by examining McConkey's medium. Identification procedures for mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas, as described by Finegold and Martin[4] were used. Cultural studies for chlamydia were not done. Forty males of similar age group and sexual promiscuity formed the control group.


Samples (urethral discharge and urine sediments) showing 4 or more polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) per high power field (hpf) were included in the present study. In 85 samples, N. gonorrhoeae was isolated. Out of 143 cases of NGU, in 68 cases (47.5% ) U. urealyticum and in 5 cases M. hominis were isolated. In control group, in 7 samples (17.5%) U. urealyticum was isolated.


The incidence of U. urealyticum in the present study was 47.5 and 17.5 per cent in the study and control group respectively. Katoh et al,[5] in a similar study in Japanese patients with nongonococcal urethritis, have reported an incidence of 52 per cent, while Kumar et al6 have reported 57.1% isolation of U. urealyticum in NGU.

In comparison with our previous results,[2], [3] the isolation rate of U. urealyticum, in this study is higher (in control and study groups) and this is mainly because of selection of cases, use of selective A7 agar medium and inoculation of the specimen into liquid medium and then subculturing to A7 agar medium.


1Charles, D.: In, "Infections in Obstetrics and Gynaecology" Chapter 8, Editor E.A. Friedman. Publishers W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, Toronto, 1980.
2Deodhar, L.P. and Gogate, A.S.: Role of mycoplasma and acholeplasma in nongonococcal urethritis. Ind. J. Med Microbiol., 3: 127-129, 1985.
3Deodhar, L.P., Gogate, A.S., Bhatt, M.H. and Valia, R.G.: Mycoplasma infections of male genital tract. Ind. Practitioner, 38: 327-329, 1985.
4Finegold, S.M. and Martin, W.J.: "Diagnostic Microbiology". Sixth Edition. The C.V. Mosby Co. St. Louis, U.S.A. 1982, p. 381.
5Katoh, N., Shimizu, Y., Kawada, Y. and Nishiura, T.: Isolations of Ureaplasma urealyticum from Japanese patients with nongonococcal urethritis. The Yale J. Biolo. Med., 56: 880-881, 1983.
6Kumar, T., Kumar, B., Asnani, P.J., Vadehra, D.V. and Kaur, S.: Mycoplasmas in male genital tract infections, Ind. J. Med. Res., 73: 715-719, 1981.

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