Chapter 10 : Ureaplasma Infection

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The most controversial area in mycoplasmology today continues to be the potential role of in adverse pregnancy outcome in humans. can be isolated from the cervix and vagina in 52 to 76% of postpubertal girls in the absence of symptoms. Since 1970, 13 studies involving approximately 12,000 patients have been conducted to evaluate the role of cervical ureaplasmal infection in premature birth. Analysis of amniocentesis samples taken for prenatal diagnosis in the first or second trimester revealed in the amniotic fluid, in the presence of intact membranes and in the absence of other microorganisms. Two prospective studies were conducted to evaluate the presence of ureaplasmas at the time of genetic amniocentesis at 12 to 20 weeks gestation when membranes were intact and there was no labor. Histologic evidence of chorioamnionitis was present in all 10 placentas and histologic evidence of pneumonia was present in all 9 fetuses. The isolation of organisms from the chorioamnion and/or amniotic fluid was associated with microscopic chorioamnionitis but not with clinical amnionitis. Risk factors for colonization of the female lower genital tract include younger age, lower socioeconomic status, sexual activity with multiple partners, black ethnicity, and oral contraceptive use. Until there is widespread awareness of and acceptance of how common mycoplasmal infections of the central nervous system can be, knowledge of what group is at risk for infection, and development of improved diagnostic capabilities, it is likely that the majority of cases will not be identified.

Citation: Cassell G. 1999. Ureaplasma Infection, p 175-193. In Hitchcock P, MacKay H, Wasserheit J, Binder R (ed), Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Adverse Outcomes of Pregnancy. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818210.ch10
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