JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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The bacterial load of Ureaplasma parvum in amniotic fluid is correlated with an increased intrauterine inflammatory response.

Ureaplasma spp. are the most frequently isolated microorganisms inside the amniotic cavity and have been associated with spontaneous abortion, chorioamnionitis, premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), and preterm labor (PL). We analyzed 118 samples from amniotic fluid of preterm infants before 34 weeks of gestation by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Bacterial load, Ureaplasma biovar discrimination (Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum), and the level of inflammation were correlated with short-term clinical outcome. U. parvum was the predominant biovar, and increased bacterial load was significantly linked to histologic chorioamnionitis, PROM + PL, early-onset sepsis, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between the amount of U. parvum and the magnitude of inflammatory response inside the amniotic cavity observed by elevated interleukin 8 levels. We postulate that the bacterial load of Ureaplasma spp. measured by qPCR should be determined in studies investigating the potential clinical impact of intrauterine Ureaplasma spp. on the outcome of preterm infants.

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