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By Chad Klauser Maternal Fetal Medicine physician in NYC
Joann Romano-Keeler, Jörn-Hendrik Weitkamp
While critical for normal development, the exact timing of establishment of the intestinal microbiome is unknown. For example, although preterm labor and birth have been associated with bacterial colonization of the amniotic cavity and fetal membranes for many years, the prevailing dogma of a sterile intrauterine environment during normal term pregnancies has been challenged more recently. While found to be a key contributor of evolution in the animal kingdom, maternal transmission of commensal bacteria may also constitute a critical process during healthy pregnancies in humans with yet unclear developmental importance...
January 2015: Pediatric Research
S S Witkin
Ascending bacterial infection is implicated in about 40-50% of preterm births. The human vaginal microbiota in most women is dominated by lactobacilli. In women whose vaginal microbiota is not lactobacilli-dominated anti-bacterial defence mechanisms are reduced. The enhanced proliferation of pathogenic bacteria plus degradation of the cervical barrier increase bacterial passage into the endometrium and amniotic cavity and trigger preterm myometrial contractions. Evaluation of protocols to detect the absence of lactobaciili dominance in pregnant women by self-measuring vaginal pH, coupled with measures to promote growth of lactobacilli are novel prevention strategies that may reduce the occurrence of preterm birth in low-resource areas...
January 2015: BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
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