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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Jun;212(6):779.e1-779.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.01.032. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

Identification of a gene in Mycoplasma hominis associated with preterm birth and microbial burden in intraamniotic infection.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
2
Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
3
Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
4
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
5
Division of Intramural Research, Program for Perinatal Research and Obstetrics, Perinatology Research Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI.
6
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA.
7
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
8
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Electronic address: kkjefferson@vcu.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity is associated with spontaneous preterm labor and adverse pregnancy outcome, and Mycoplasma hominis often is present. However, the pathogenic process by which M hominis invades the amniotic cavity and gestational tissues, often resulting in chorioamnionitis and preterm birth, remains unknown. We hypothesized that strains of M hominis vary genetically with regards to their potential to invade and colonize the amniotic cavity and placenta.

STUDY DESIGN:

We sequenced the entire genomes of 2 amniotic fluid isolates and a placental isolate of M hominis from pregnancies that resulted in preterm births and compared them with the previously sequenced genome of the type strain PG21. We identified genes that were specific to the amniotic fluid/placental isolates. We then determined the microbial burden and the presence of these genes in another set of subjects from whom samples of amniotic fluid had been collected and were positive for M hominis.

RESULTS:

We identified 2 genes that encode surface-located membrane proteins (Lmp1 and Lmp-like) in the sequenced amniotic fluid/placental isolates that were truncated severely in PG21. We also identified, for the first time, a microbial gene of unknown function that is referred to in this study as gene of interest C that was associated significantly with bacterial burden in amniotic fluid and the risk of preterm delivery in patients with preterm labor.

CONCLUSION:

A gene in M hominis was identified that is associated significantly with colonization and/or infection of the upper reproductive tract during pregnancy and with preterm birth.

KEYWORDS:

chorioamnionitis; genital mycoplasmas; genome sequencing; microbial invasion of the amniotic cavity; pathogenicity

PMID:
25637842
PMCID:
PMC4457590
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajog.2015.01.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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