Mycoplasma genitalium is thought to affect about 400,000 Australians…

…but many people have never heard of it. The bacterium can cause painful urination, itching and bleeding in the rectum, and in women has been linked to pelvic inflammatory disease, spontaneous miscarriage and infertility. Mycoplasma genitalium has shown increasing levels of resistance to medication. In some cases, no effective treatment has been available.

A new Australian-developed test is being made widely available to doctors and, significantly, it also checks if patients have strains of the infection resistant to the “go-to” antibiotic for bacterial STIs, azithromycin. Developer SpeeDx said testing facilities were already in place in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, and expected them to be in all other states by the middle of the year.

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