CLEVELANDResearchers from Case Western Reserve University and Yale University have made a significant advancement in understanding the cause behind why some pregnant women suffer from inflammations in the inner womb without any signs of an infection.
Using gene-cloning techniques, researchers discovered that approximately 60 percent of the bacteria present in women with intra-amniotic inflammations were missed by traditional culture testing considered the gold standard for finding bacterial infections.
The findings were reported in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
For the first time, the researchers identified a comprehensive list of microbial species in intra-amniotic infections by using new DNA methods to track down the presence of bacteria. To increase their accuracy the investigators used a combination of analyses including proteomics results of amniotic fluid and histological analysis of the placenta to corroborate the infection and inflammation.
Intra-amniotic inflammation is known to set off spontaneous births of preterm babies at less than 32 weeks, said Yiping Han, associate professor of dental medicine at Case Western Reserve University and lead investigator on the study of 46 women of which 44 experienced preterm births. Han has previously done a number of research projects examining the link between oral bacteria and preterm birth.
In the present study, bacteria levels from the amniotic fluids of pregnant women with signs or symptoms of preterm births were compared to those from a control group of 16 women without such manifestations and who delivered at term. The amniotic fluid of the control group came from amniocenteses for genetic screenings or analyses to check fetal lung maturity and showed no signs of bacteria even by DNA methods.
"Because culturing is not finding all bacteria present in the amniotic fluid, this calls for new detection methods," Han
|Contact: Susan Griffith|
Case Western Reserve University