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Exp Mol Pathol. 2003 Oct;75(2):171-7.

Ureaplasma in lung. 2. Association with bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature newborns.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA.


Infants with Ureaplasma urealyticum in the lower respiratory tract are at risk for chronic lung disease (CLD) or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) but causality has been difficult to prove. The goal of this study was to identify ureaplasma in human neonatal lung tissue using the in situ hybridization (ISH) procedure described in Part 1 (Exp. Mol. Pathol., in press) of this report. By correlating their presence with the histopathologic findings, it may be possible to provide further evidence of the pathogenicity of ureaplasmas and their association with BPD. Lung autopsy tissue from seven infants with positive cultures and seven infants with negative cultures for ureaplasma were included in the study. All culture-positive infants were positive for ureaplasma on ISH and all had histopathologic evidence of BPD. Two of the seven infants with negative cultures were positive for ureaplasma with ISH. Of interest, these two infants were also found to have BPD at autopsy. The other five infants with negative cultures were also negative for ureaplasma on ISH and had no evidence of BPD. This study correlates the presence of U. urealyticum by ISH with the finding of BPD on histopathologic evaluation and provides evidence that it has a role in the development of CLD.

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