Ureaplasmosis – it is infectious venereal disease, having predominantly sexual transmission. Ureaplasma got its name due to its ability to break up urea. The same property formed the basis for the isolation of this microorganism in a separate form. Ureaplasma was first isolated in 1937. In 1979, the pathogenicity of this microorganism was proved. It turned out that Ureaplasma affects not only humans, but also mollusks, birds, mammals and some insects.
Some information about ureaplasma
The structure of the ureaplasma
This microorganism is intermediate between viruses and unicellular bacteria. With bacteria, they are related to the size and some features of metabolism, and with viruses – the genetic apparatus, the size and composition of the cell wall.
Physiology of Ureaplasma
After infection, ureaplasma colonizes the urethral mucosa, prostate in men, and the urethral mucosa and vagina in women. Further events can develop in two scenarios:
one. With a good level of immunological protection, the infection that has settled mucous membranes subsides – does not show high biological activity. However, there are no symptoms of ureaplasmosis. This form of coexistence is observed in most cases. Therefore, this microorganism is considered conditionally pathogenic – that is, this bacterium causes pathology only under certain circumstances.
2 With a decrease in immunity, the presence of hormonal diseases, the addition of a concomitant sexually transmitted disease or violation of the composition of the microflora of the genital tract (with antibiotics) there is an active reproduction of ureaplasma, which is accompanied by a pronounced inflammatory reaction in the area of the affected mucous membranes.
In the event that an active increase in the number of ureplazma is not accompanied by adequate treatment, the infection is advanced along the urinary and sexual ways. In men, the spermatic cord, epididymis, testes themselves are affected. Among women, endometritis and adnexitis may occur. This process can lead to sad consequences – male or female infertility.
Also, an important complication of ureaplasma infection may be the development of rheumatic diseases. In this case, with prolonged persistence of infection in the body, the immune system is impaired, which leads to autoimmune damage to its own tissues.
Ways of transmission of ureaplasma infection
It is proved that ureaplasma is transmitted sexually or vertically (from mother to fetusa) way. No other methods of infection found medical evidence. Sexual transmission involves infection as a result of genital or orogenital unprotected sexual intercourse. Condom use protects against infection with this disease.
Vertical transmission occurs during natural childbirth – when the fetus passes through the female genital tract. In the period of prenatal development, infection is impossible (currently there is no evidence to the contrary).
Symptoms of ureaplasmosis
After infection, the first symptoms of ureaplasmosis may appear after 4 to 30 days. In some cases, an asymptomatic period can go on for months. It should be noted that during the incubation period the infected person is a distributor of the infection. Asymptomatic carriage is more common in women.
Symptoms of ureaplasmosis in men
one. Urethritis – accompanied by a slight transparent discharge from the urethra.
2 Prostatitis – is accompanied by classic signs of prostatitis: a violation of free urination, pain in the relevant area, a violation of male intimate functions.
Symptoms of ureaplasmosis in women
one. Urethritis – it is characterized by non-abundant transparent discharge from the urethra, pain when urinating, itching.
2 Vaginitis – discomfort in the genitals, aggravated by genital intercourse. Transparent scanty vaginal discharge.
3 With oral intercourse, a sore throat with inflammation of the pharynx, an increase in regional lymph nodes, redness of the mucous membrane of the pharynx, painful swallowing takes place.
As can be seen from the above information, the symptoms of ureaplasmosis do not differ in any feature – it is not specific. And to establish a ureaplasma infection is possible only on the basis of a combination of clinical and laboratory symptoms.
Laboratory diagnosis of ureaplasmosis
Diagnosis of ureaplasmosis has a number of requirements. The fact is that in many infected people ureaplasma is not active, therefore it does not cause damage to the sexual and urinary system. Therefore, in addition to identifying the fact of infection, it is necessary to identify the activity of the infection.
In the laboratory diagnosis of ureaplasmosis, the following studies are used:
one. Linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) – This method allows to detect antibodies to ureaplasma structures. The method allows to detect the fact of infection and antibody titer of various classes. An increase in antibody titer may indirectly indicate infection activity.
2 The reaction of direct and indirect immunofluorescence. Allows you to visually determine the presence of antibodies in the blood of the patient. For the study used special reagents and a microscope.
3 Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – this study allows you to identify the genetic material of ureaplasma. The advantage of the method is the speed of diagnosis and high sensitivity of the method. It is important that this method is possible to obtain quantitative data.
four. Cultural research. This method is carried out in stages – sampling of biomaterial, sowing on nutrient media, cultivation of bacterial growth. According to the study there is the possibility of detecting ureaplasma and assessing its activity. If necessary, this study can be supplemented with an antibiogram, which will reveal the sensitivity of the ureaplasma to the main types of antibiotics.
As a result, it can be stated that ureaplasma is a conditionally pathogenic bacterium. Possessing unique properties. The presence of ureaplasma in the composition of the microflora of the genital tract or urethra does not mean the presence of the disease. In the diagnosis of this disease is important to determine the activity of the infection. Diagnosis of this disease is based on clinical and laboratory research. It is important to diagnose ureaplasmosis promptly, since this disease can lead to such formidable complications as rheumatic lesions and infertility.