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It is hard to get much of a reputation if nobody knows you’re around, and that has definitely been the case for mycoplasma genitalium, the tiny bacteria estimated to be more prevalent than the bug that causes gonorrhea but is almost completely off the public’s radar.

That’s because, until very recently, it has been difficult for front-line physicians to confirm that this particular microbe — the smallest bacteria ever detected — was present in specific patients.

However, that situation is likely to change due in large part to the work of the sexually transmitted disease division of Hologic Inc. Based in San Diego and formerly known as Gen-Probe, the company that revolutionized automated blood testing for infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C, Hologic was the first in the nation to get a mycoplasma genitalium test approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Lisa Manhart, an Adjunct Professor of Global Health, is quoted in this story. Read the entire article at San Diego Union-Tribune.