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Sexual Experience and Urethral Colonization with Genital Mycoplasmas: A Study in Normal Men

WILLIAM M. MCCORMACK, M.D.; YHU-HSIUNG LEE, M.D.; and STEPHEN H. ZINNER, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: HD-03693, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and AI-68 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. McCormack is the recipient of United States Public Health Service Post-Doctoral Fellowship 1 F02 AI 44394-02, and Dr. Lee is the recipient of United States Public Health Service Special Fellowship 1 F03 HD 54420-01.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. McCormack at the Channing Laboratory, Boston City Hospital, Boston, MA 02118.


Boston, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island


Ann Intern Med. 1973;78(5):696-698. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-78-5-696
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Cultures for genital mycoplasmas and anonymous questionnaires on sexual experience were obtained from 191 normal male college students. Men who had not had sexual intercourse were virtually free of mycoplasmas, whereas more than 26% of those who had had intercourse with two partners and 56.3% of those who had had intercourse with more than 14 partners were colonized with T-strain mycoplasmas. Mycoplasma hominis was less prevalent but followed the same general pattern. These data indicate that colonization with T-mycoplasmas is related to sexual experience and that T-mycoplasmas are part of the urethral flora of many normal sexually active men. Moreover, the rates of colonization among the more sexually active normal men are similar to those that have been reported for patients with nongonococcal urethritis, which raises some questions about the proposed causative role for T-mycoplasmas in this disorder.

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