• Preterm birth;
  • preterm labor;
  • preterm prelabor rupture of membranes;
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum;
  • inflammatory response;
  • tumor necrosis factor alpha;
  • interleukin


Objective. To study the effect of the amniotic fluid quantity of Ureaplasma urealyticum DNA on inflammatory response levels in women with preterm labor (PTL) and preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (pPROM). Design. A prospective multi-center follow up study. Setting. Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. Sample. Eleven U. urealyticum positive samples obtained after transabdominal amniocenteses in 197 women presenting with PTL and pPROM. Methods. The U. urealyticum positive samples were analyzed with real-time polymerase chain reaction, using the Lightcycler instrument with primers specific for U. urealyticum 16 S rDNA. The amniotic fluid samples were analyzed for tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β and IL-10 with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Main outcome measures. Correlation between U. urealyticum DNA concentrations in the amniotic fluid and inflammatory cytokine levels. Results. The concentrations of U. urealyticum DNA varied between 0.024 and 934 μg/mL. A significant correlation between U. urealyticum DNA and TNF-α level was observed. No correlation with the other cytokines was found. Women with PTLhad higher levels of U. urealyticum DNA and a different cytokine pattern than women with pPROM. Conclusions. U. urealyticum in the amniotic fluid induces an inflammatory reaction in a dose dependent manner and the quantity of U. urealyticum DNA is well correlated with the level of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α.