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Pediatr Res. 2012 Mar;71(3):267-73. doi: 10.1038/pr.2011.47. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Antenatal exposure to Ureaplasma species exacerbates bronchopulmonary dysplasia synergistically with subsequent prolonged mechanical ventilation in preterm infants.

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Department of Neonatal Medicine and Pediatrics, Osaka Medical College, Osaka, Japan.



The presence of microorganisms in gastric fluid in neonates at birth is postulated to reflect antenatal infection and also to be associated with the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).


A logistic regression analysis, after controlling for other risk factors, indicated that Ureaplasma-positive infants were not at increased risk for moderate/severe BPD (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 2.58, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.57-6.89, P = 0.12). However, the association between the presence of Ureaplasma species and the risk for moderate/severe BPD increased significantly in infants on mechanical ventilation (MV) ≥2 wk (adjusted OR: 4.17, 95% CI: 1.62-44.1, P = 0.009). An analysis using a lung injury marker indicated that Ureaplasma-positive infants with MV ≥2 wk, but not other infants, showed higher serum KL-6 levels in samples taken from cord blood, and that KL-6 levels increased time-dependently up to 4 wk of age.


Antenatal exposure to Ureaplasma species induces lung injury prior to birth and synergistically contributes to the development of BPD in infants requiring prolonged MV (≥2 wk).


We recovered gastric fluid specimens from 122 infants with gestational age (GA) <29 wk or birth weight <1,000 g to investigate whether these microorganisms influence respiratory outcome of BPD. A PCR analysis was used to detect urease and 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes to classify neonates into Ureaplasma-positive or Ureaplasma-negative infants.

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