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May 6, 1974

Mycoplasmas in Urethritis

Author Affiliations

Center for Disease Control Atlanta

JAMA. 1974;228(6):694. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310016006

To the Editor.—  The recent editorial by Dr. Hussey (227:194, 1974) suggesting that T-strain mycoplasmas are of probable pathogenic significance in nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) should be viewed in the perspective of other potential etiologies. McCormack et al (N Engl J Med 288:78, 1973) found that studies supporting a relationship between mycoplasmas and urethritis were essentially equal in number to those in which no connection could be found. None of these studies adequately controlled for the sexual activity of the subjects; the frequency of colonization with genital mycoplasmas correlates with the level of sexual activity and promiscuity.1,2 Investigations which do not control for this factor may mistakenly suggest an etiologic relationship for the organisms when, in fact, they are merely showing that both nongonococcal urethritis and colonization with T-strain mycoplasmas are more common among the promiscuous.This criticism applies directly to the study by McChesney et al (226:37, 1973) cited by