Investig Clin Urol.  2019 Mar;60(2):127-132. 10.4111/icu.2019.60.2.127.

Microbiology of smegma: Prospective comparative control study

  • 1Department of Urology, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea.
  • 2Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea.


The aim of the study was to investigate the common bacteria found in the smegma in the subpreputial space of asymptomatic boys prospectively, and to determine the difference of those bacteria according to the presence of smegma.
In our institution, 40 boys who performed penoplasty were recruited into the study. Swab was done using aseptic techniques on smegma and glans in the operation room. According to the presence of smegma in the subpreputial space, we classified glans as a group S (with smegma, n=20) and group C (without smegma, n=20). The swabs were immediately sent to microbiology laboratory for microscopy, culture, and sensitivity tests.
The mean age was 30.4±26.4 months. Thirty-one bacteria were isolated from smegma, comprising 15 gram-positive species (48.4%) and 16 gram-negative species (51.6%). The most commonly isolated gram-negative bacterium was Escherichia coli (25.8%), while the commonly isolated gram-positive bacteria were Enterococcus faecalis (19.4%) and Enterococcus avium (12.9%). Most of the bacterial isolates were multi-drug-resistant (61.3%). In group S, 12 boys had 22 bacterial isolates in the glans. The commonly isolated bacteria were E. coli (27.3%), E. avium (22.7%) and E. faecalis (18.2%). In group C, 13 boys had 21 bacterial isolates in the glans. The most commonly isolated bacterium was E. faecalis (28.6%).
Smegma in the subpreputial space of children was colonized by many kinds of uropathogen.


Foreskin; Microbiology; Smegma
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