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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2001 Feb;94(2):224-9.

Antibacterial properties of human amnion and chorion in vitro.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aalborg Hospital, DK-9000 Aalborg, Denmark.



The purpose of the present study was to explore the direct effects of amnion and chorion on bacterial growth in vitro including the antibacterial spectrum. Chorioamniotic membranes were obtained under sterile conditions from 13 healthy women undergoing elective cesarean section at term. Likewise, chorioamniotic membranes were obtained from 10 healthy women with spontaneous vaginal delivery at term. Five strains of Hemolytic streptococci group B (GBS) were tested and one clinical isolate of the following species or bacterial groups: Hemolytic streptococcus group A, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Lactobacillus species. Bacteriological media included (1) blood-agar medium; (2) a transparent agar medium for submerged cultures; and (3) a nutrient broth medium.


An inhibitory effect of fetal membranes against a range of bacteria was found. Consistent results were obtained in experiments with cultures on agar and cultures suspended in agar (membranes from eight women in both studies). In experiments with liquid cultures (seven women) only chorion showed a marginal inhibitory effect. All strains were inhibited, but the most pronounced inhibition was obtained for streptococcus group A, S. aureus and S. saprophyticus by both chorion and amnion.


This study demonstrated an inhibitory effect of the fetal membranes on a diverse panel of bacteria

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