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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Jan;198(1):122.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2007.06.065.

Experimental amniotic fluid infection in sheep: effects of Ureaplasma parvum serovars 3 and 6 on preterm or term fetal sheep.

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  • 1School of Women's and Infants' Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.



The objective of the study was to determine the effects in late gestation of Ureaplasma parvum serovar 3 colonization and the effects, preterm, of U. parvum serovar 6.


Ewes received an intraamniotic (i.a.) injection of U. parvum serovar 6 (20 x 10(6) colony-forming units [cfu]; n = 9), U. parvum serovar 3 (20 x 10(3) cfu; n = 6), vehicle (n = 10), or saline (n = 4) on day 80 of pregnancy (d). The lambs were delivered at 125 d (U. parvum serovar 6, n = 9; saline or media controls, n = 9) or 145 d (U. parvum serovar 3, n = 6; media controls, n = 5) for assessment of inflammation and lung maturation.


I.a. ureaplasmas caused histologic chorioamnionitis but not preterm delivery. Fetal lung epithelium was colonized with ureaplasmas at both gestational ages, and pulmonary interleukin-8 levels had doubled in the ureaplasma-colonized animals, compared with the controls at 145 d. Surfactant levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid had increased 8-fold and 2.5-fold at 125 and 145 d, respectively, after ureaplasma injection.


Fetal lung inflammation and altered development accompanies ureaplasma colonization, regardless of age at delivery.

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