The examine evaluates the usage of circulation cytometry in diagnosing male urethritis

According to the World Health Organization, the global prevalence estimate of sexually transmitted infections in men in 2016 was 2.7% for chlamydia, 0.7% for gonorrhea, and 0.6% for trichomoniasis. In men, these and other sexually transmitted infections can lead to urethritis and inflammation of the urethra.

There are several methods of detecting these infections. In recent years, new technologies have emerged in the field of urine analysis methods that offer fast and standardized options in daily clinical practice. Stanislav Tjagur, one of the study's authors, a lecturer at the Tartu University Clinic for Men and a PhD student at the Tartu University Medical Faculty, said one of these innovative diagnostic methods is flow cytometry: "Compared to other methods, this technique is easy to perform, automated, delivers results quickly and is non-invasive. "

However, there is limited information on how flow cytometry can be used in diagnosing male urethritis. Therefore, medical researchers from Tartu University and andrologists from Tartu University Hospital conducted a study to evaluate the performance of flow cytometry on urine with first cavity in men with infectious urethritis. "We wanted to find the optimal thresholds for faster and more accurate diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections associated with urethritis in order to improve the cost-effectiveness of treating infectious urethritis in men in a busy outpatient department," said Tjagur.

The study involved patients who had come to the Men's Clinic at Tartu University Hospital either after a case of high-risk sexual behavior, for a fertility test or for prophylactic health checks. Cases included 306 patients aged 18 to 50 years with chlamydia, gonorrhea, Mycoplasma genitalium infection, and / or trichomoniasis. The control group consisted of 192 patients of the same age group without genitourinary symptoms and negative for the infections listed.

The study found that in men who consulted an andrologist, chlamydia (64.1%) was the most common sexually transmitted infection, followed by Mycoplasma genitalium infections (20.9%), gonorrhea (7.8%) and trichomoniasis ( 1.6%). The total proportion of the various combined infections was 5.6%. "The results measured by flow cytometry showed that gonorrhea caused the highest inflammatory response and the highest number of bacteria in the urine with the first cavity," said Tjagur, who regards this finding as one of the largest values ​​in the study and also provides a good overview of the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases Infections and the efficiency of diagnostics.

Tjagur concluded that if infectious male urethritis is suspected, flow cytometry can be considered a rapid and objective screening method, although more studies are needed to confirm the initial results.


Estonian Research Council

Journal reference:

S. Tjagur et al. (2020) Profile of Sexually Transmitted Infections that cause urethritis and an associated urinary inflammatory response in heterosexual men: A flow cytometry study. PLUS ONE.

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