Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 1989  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 144-6  

Co-existence of N. gonorrhoeae and U. urealyticum in male urethra.

LL Deodhar, MM Sonawala, AA Gogate 

Correspondence Address:
L L Deodhar


Eight hundred and forty male patients attending sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic for urethritis were investigated. Out of them, 31.6% had gonococcal urethritis, 16.1% suffered from nongonococcal urethritis due to Ureaplasma urealyticum and in 12.6%, both the organisms were present. Though 14.62% strains of N. Gonorrhoeae were resistant to penicillin, all the strains were sensitive to spectinomycin; while all Ureaplasma strains were sensitive to tetracyclines. As the treatment differs for these two organisms, it is necessary to identify the correct etiological agent.

How to cite this article:
Deodhar L L, Sonawala M M, Gogate A A. Co-existence of N. gonorrhoeae and U. urealyticum in male urethra. J Postgrad Med 1989;35:144-6

How to cite this URL:
Deodhar L L, Sonawala M M, Gogate A A. Co-existence of N. gonorrhoeae and U. urealyticum in male urethra. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1989 [cited 2022 Nov 30 ];35:144-6
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Urethritis in men is a sexually transmitted disease and can be broadly classified into gonococcal and non-gonococcal. The coexistence of N.gonorrhoeae and Ureaplasma urealyticum in the male urethra has been reported by some workers[3],[7] in cultures obtained from the genitourinary tract. For treatment and complete cure of these patients, it is essential to determine the etiological agent of urethritis as the treatment for the two important micro-organisms differs.


Eight hundred and forty male patients in the age group of 15 to 55 years visiting sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic of a general hospital, for urethritis, were investigated. From each patient, urethral swab/discharge and fresh urine samples were collected and processed as described earlier. Standard procedures as recommended by Finegold and Martin[4] were used for identification of bacteria. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of the isolates was carried out as described by Cruickshank et al.[2]


Results of the isolates are shown in [Table 1.]

In 31.6% patients N.gonorrhoeae,16.1% U.urealyticum and in 12.6% both these organisms were isolated. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed 14.62% strains of N.gonorrhoeae resistant to penicillin. All the strains of N.gonorrhoeae were sensitive to spectinomycin and all strains of U.urealyticum were sensitive to tetracycline.


The simultaneous presence of N.gonorrhoeae and mycoplasmas has been found by some of the investigators[3],[6],[7],[8] in cultures obtained from the genito-urinary tract. Mycoplasmas were found in significantly higher number of patients with gonorrhoeae than in cases where N. gonorrhoeae was not detected.

In the present study, in 12.6% of patients, N. gonorrhoeae and U. urealyticum or T-strain mycoplasmas were isolated. Shepard et al[8] have reported an association, in 11.5% of patients while other authors[5],[6] have reported a higher incidence.

Faur et al,[3] in their studies on morphologic observations on mycoplasmas growing in association with N.gonorrhoeae as seen by electron microscope, have reported the presence of cell wall projections on the surface of gonococci to which mycoplasmas including T-strain mycoplasmas are attached. According to them, special factors required for the multiplication and viability of mycoplasmas may be obtained from gonococci.

Penicillin or spectinomycin (for penicillin resistant strains of N.gonorrhoeae) are the drugs used for gonococcal urethritis while tetracycline is the drug of choice for U.urealyticum urethritis. As the treatment is different for these two organisms, it is very essential to identify the etiological agents of urethritis.


1Bhatt, M., Deodhar, L. P., Gogate, A., Vaidya, P. R. and Patel, M. V.: Mycoplasmas in female genital tract. J. Postgrad. Med., 31, 112-114, 1985.
2Cruickshank, R., Duguid, J. P., Marmion, B. P. and Swain, R. H. A.: Tests for sensitivity to antimicrobial agents. In, "Medical Microbiology", 12th edition, Vol. 11, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, London and New York, 1980, pp. 202-203.
3Faur, Y. C., Weisburd, M. H. and Wilson, M. E.: Morphologic observations of mycoplasmas and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in associated growth patterns. Amer. J. Clin. Pathol., 63: 106-116, 1975.
4Finegold, S. M. and Martin, W. J.: In, "'Diagnostic Microbiology" Sixth Edition. The C. V. Mosby Company, 1982, p. 381.
5Hunter, J. M., Smith, I. W., Peutherer, J. F., MacAulay, A. J., Tuach, S. and Young, H.: Chlamydia trachomatis and Ureaplasma urealyticum in men attending; a sexually transmitted diseases clinic. Brit. J. Vener. Dis., 57: 130-133, 1981.
6Piot, P.: Distribution of eight serotypes of Ureaplasma urealyticum in cases of nongonococcal urethritis and of gonorrhoea, and in healthy persons. Brit. J. Vener. Dis., 52: 266-268, 1976.
7Robertson, J. A.: Potential virulence factors of Ureaplasma urealyticum. Pediatr. Infect. Dis., 5 (6 suppl.): 322S-324S, 1986.
8Shepard, M. C., Alexander, C. E., Lunceford, C. D. and Campbell, P. E.: Possible role of T-strain mycoplasma in non-gonococcal urethritis. A sixth veneral disease. J. Amer. Med. Assoc., 188: 729-735. 1964.

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