Open Access Highly Accessed Methodology article

Development of real-time PCR for detection of Mycoplasma hominis

Agata Baczynska12*, Helle F Svenstrup1, Jens Fedder2, Svend Birkelund1 and Gunna Christiansen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Aarhus University, The Bartholin Building, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

2 The Fertility Clinic, Brædstrup Hospital, 8740 Brædstrup, Denmark

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BMC Microbiology 2004, 4:35  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-4-35

Published: 6 September 2004



Mycoplasma hominis is associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, bacterial vaginosis, post partum fever, sepsis and infections of the central nervous system often leading to serious conditions. Association with development of female infertility has also been suggested, but different publications present different results. We developed a sensitive and fast diagnostic real-time PCR to test clinical samples from women undergoing laparoscopic examination before fertility treatment. To develop a test for the detection and quantification of M. hominis we selected a housekeeping gene, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gap), as a target.


Real-time PCR was optimized to detect 10 copies of M. hominis PG21 genomic DNA. A fluorescence signal was measured for all 20 other M. hominis isolates, and melting curves analysis showed variations in the melting temperature in agreement with sequence variation in the region of the probes. There was no amplification of other mycoplasmal DNA and human DNA. Eighty-three patient cervical swab samples from infertile women were cultured for M. hominis in the BEa medium. Two of the samples (2.4%) were positive after 48 hours of incubation. The real-time PCR detected the same two samples positive, and the DNA concentrations in the clinical specimens were calculated to 37.000 copies/ml and 88.500 copies/ml, respectively.


The results demonstrate that real-time PCR may prove to be a rapid alternative to the traditional cultivation method. Information on bacterial load in genital swabs can be obtained. The assay allowed detection of M. hominis in a closed system reducing the risk of contamination by amplicon carry-over.

Fluorescence probes; gap gene; LightCycler PCR,Mycoplasma hominis; real-time PCR