Association between genital mycoplasmas, acute chorioamnionitis and fetal pneumonia in spontaneous abortions

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Ureaplasma parvum, Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis are also known as genital mycoplasmas. Acute chorioamnionitis is an inflammation of the placenta associated with miscarriage. We retrospectively evaluated a possible association between genital mycoplasmas detection, acute chorioamnionitis and fetal pneumonia from second and third trimester spontaneous abortions.


One hundred and thirty placenta and fetal lung samples were evaluated for histological examination. The placenta samples, along with corresponding fetal tracheo-bronchial aspirates, also underwent bacterial and fungal culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of genital mycoplasmas.


Acute chorioamnionitis and pneumonia were diagnosed in 80/130 (61.5%) and 22/130 (16.9%) samples, respectively. Among samples positive for acute chorioamnionitis, the proportion of samples positive by real-time PCR and/or culture, was significantly higher than that of negative controls [54/80 (67.5%) vs. 26/80 (32.5%); P<0.001]. Ureaplasma parvum detection was significantly associated with acute chorioamnionitis compared to controls [9/11 (81.8%) vs. 2/11 (18.2%); P=0.019], as well as U. urealyticum [6/7 (85.7%) vs. 1/7 (14.3%); P=0.039]. Among tracheo-bronchial aspirates from abortions with pneumonia, the proportion of real-time PCR and/or culture positive samples was significantly higher than that of controls [13/22 (59.1%) vs. 9/22 (40.9%); P=0.029].


A strong association was found between acute histologic chorioamnionitis and microbial invasion with U. parvum and/or U. urealyticum.

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