Analysis of the relationship between ureaplasmal infection and premature delivery



Aim:  Ureaplasma has recently been reported to be a pathogenic organism for sexually transmitted diseases and also for chorioamnionitis, premature delivery and neonatal pneumonia. In this study, we examined whether the ureaplasma infection is related to premature delivery.

Methods:  Vaginal swabs were obtained from 85 pregnant women (including 63 of normal delivery and 23 of premature delivery), and cultured in Ureaplasma culture medium. The swabs were also analyzed for bacteria flora using the conventional culture method. DNA was extracted from ureaplasma colonies grown to determine the biotype by PCR direct sequence method.

Results:  Ureaplasma infection was found in 51.6 and 52.6% of full-term and preterm delivery women, respectively indicating that ureaplasma infection had no relation to premature delivery. The biotype of ureaplasma also had no relevance to preterm delivery. However, the interval between hospitalization due to threatened premature delivery and actual delivery was 8.4 days for ureaplasma-infected patients as compared to 18 days for non-infected patients. This result suggests that ureaplasma infection accelerates the process of premature delivery or shortens time to premature delivery.

Conclusion:  Our study found no association between ureaplasma infection or biotype and premature delivery. However, we found that ureaplasma-infected patients were not as readily treatable for threatened preterm delivery as non-infected patients.