Emerging role for Ureaplasma parvum serovar 3: Active infection in women with silent high-risk human papillomavirus and in women with idiopathic infertility

Nunzia Zanotta, Giuseppina Campisciano, Sara Morassut, Eugenia Castro-Silva, Viviana Luksa, Gabriella Zito, Stefania Luppi, Monica Martinelli, Claudia Colli, Francesco De Seta, Giuseppe Ricci, Barbara Suligoi, Manola Comar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recently, there are controversial opinions on the presence of Mycoplasmas/Ureaplasmas as colonizers or pathogens, and on the use of a targeted therapy. This study aimed to characterize Mycoplasmas/Ureaplasmas infections in reproductive age women, including the acquisition of sexually transmitted (ST) pathogens and poor birth outcomes. A total of 646 healthy Italian women fulfilled the inclusion criteria including 521 infertile women, 65 pregnant women, and 60 fertile women with identified risk factors and symptomatic for vaginitis/cervicitis. Multiplex and quantitative molecular techniques and direct automatic DNA sequencing were performed to assess the genome structure of Mycoplasma/Ureaplasma species and ST infected pathogens. Ureaplasma parvum serovar 3 represented the predominant colonizer of the urogenital tract of this series and the unique species significantly associated with ST pathogens coinfection (p < 0.01). U. parvum load >104 bacteria/ml, suggestive of active infection, has been measured only in asymptomatic high-risk human papillomavirus infected women (24.3%) and in 40% of women with idiopathic infertility. To note, 16% of the follicular fluid from these idiopathic women resulted infected with U. parvum. In conclusion, the present study focused the attention on U. parvum serovar 3 as emerging microorganism in sexually active women that may have the benefit of targeted therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17905-17911
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019



  • female infertility
  • human papillomavirus
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • Ureaplasma parvum
  • urogenital Mycoplasmas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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