Bacteria may be the cause of women to have premature delivery: Study
Women who have the risk of given birth to premature birth could be treated by studying the bacteria living in the reproductive tract, suggest a new study.
Subtle changes to vaginal bacteria were found to be strongly linked to pre-term birth after less than 37 weeks of pregnancy. The findings show that a shift away from the usual healthy “mix” of bacteria tended to coincide with waters breaking early.
It also increased the risk of harm to both mother and baby, including a greater chance of sepsis – a potentially lethal “shock” response to infection – for newborns.
A group of scientists from Imperial College London, collected swab samples from 250 pregnant women with and without risk factors for giving birth prematurely. Of this group, 27 delivered their babies early. Other samples were taken from a different smaller group of 87 women seen at hospital after premature membrane rupture.
Previous research had shown that during pregnancy the bacteria that colonise the vagina become less diverse and are dominated by Lactobacillus species.
This could be due to the drugs wiping out “good bacteria” and letting more dangerous bugs take their place, the scientists believe.