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J Infect Dis. 2003 Feb 1;187(3):518-21. Epub 2003 Jan 24.

Detection of Ureaplasma urealyticum in second-trimester amniotic fluid by polymerase chain reaction correlates with subsequent preterm labor and delivery.

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  • 1Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Ureaplasma urealyticum is the microorganism most frequently isolated from the amniotic fluid of women in preterm labor. The relationship between intra-amniotic U. urealyticum in healthy second-trimester pregnant women and subsequent pregnancy outcome was investigated. Transabdominal amniotic fluid obtained from 254 asymptomatic women at 15-17 weeks' gestation were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). U. urealyticum was identified in 29 subjects (11.4%). A subsequent preterm labor occurred in 17 U. urealyticum-positive women (58.6%), compared with 10 (4.4%) U. urealyticum-negative women (P<.0001). Preterm birth was documented in 7 (24.1%) U. urealyticum-positive women compared with only 1 U. urealyticum-negative woman (0.4%) (P<.0001). U. urealyticum-positive women also had a higher prevalence of preterm labor in a prior pregnancy (20.7%) than did the negative women (2.7%; P=.0008). PCR testing of second-trimester amniotic fluid for U. urealyticum can identify women at risk for subsequent preterm labor and delivery.

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