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Male urethritis. A review of the ideal diagnostic method.

Male urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra and the periurethral glands; it is widely classified as gonococcal or non-gonococcal. The most frequent microorganisms responsible are Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium, Mycoplasma hominis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Ureaplasma parvum. In the last three decades, the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases depended almost exclusively on traditional methods, such as culture, enzyme immunoassay, fluorescent antibody staining, and hybridization, until the appearance of molecular techniques. Clinical syndromes such as urethritis are rarely specific for a single microorganism, so screening strategies should allow multiple agents to be considered. Multiplex PCR is the fastest and most sensitive technique for the diagnosis of gonococcal and non-gonococcal urethritis. Male urethritis without treatment is one of the main health problems related to reproductive and sexual function, constituting one of the main causes of infertility. The objective of this mini-review was to analyze the epidemiology, causes, diagnosis, and complications of male urethritis.

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