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Molecular Genetic Analysis of Mycobacteria, Causing Female Genital Tuberculosis: Possibilities of Sexual Transmission—An Overview
Although tuberculosis (TB) is predominantly known to be a traditional air-borne disease, new modes of transmission have also come to light. While the lungs remain the main entry point, TB can spread to other regions of the body causing extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB). Female genital tuberculosis is one such EPTB that can adversely affect females between the ages of 15 and 45 years and may cause hindrance in their ability of conception and successful pregnancy. Sexual transmission of TB is a lesser-known or poorly investigated route of spread that has recently been confirmed through molecular evidence. Targeted molecular-level studies by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in addition to interim diagnostic techniques, have offered evidence for the sexual transmission of Mycobacterium subtypes. Recent studies conducted using multiplex PCR on both the male and female counterparts revealed that the male partners had Mycobacterium in their semen, while the female counterparts had it in their endometrium and products of conception resulting in miscarriage. These studies indicate that the mycobacterial infection/infestation in the females may have been brought on by contact with infected male semen. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the genetic loci that are responsible for the sexual transmission of mycobacteria. This can be done by whole-genome sequencing. It has also to be emphasized that screening of sexually active males for genital TB in endemic regions is necessary for the prevention of sexual transmission of mycobacteria.
Keywordsmycobacteria - genital tuberculosis - infertility - multiplex-PCR - sexual transmission - genome sequencing
S.C., S.K., and S.G. were involved in manuscript writing, main draft and revised draft. P.G. contributed to manuscript planning, remodeling, and revision. P.S., S.N., A.D., and S.C. helped in manuscript writing, main draft. A.B. was involved in manuscript planning, writing, and revision; main draft and revised draft.
Article published online:
21 August 2023
© 2023. National Academy of Medical Sciences (India). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
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