Premature births linked to changes in mother’s bacteria | fitness | Hindustan Times
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Premature births linked to changes in mother’s bacteria

Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The causes for preterm birth are complex and not fully understood, however emerging data suggest that the presence of certain bacteria in a woman’s vagina and cervix may increase her risk of premature birth.

fitness Updated: Jan 31, 2018 17:36 IST
New groundbreaking research on preterm birth sheds light on the risk factor.
New groundbreaking research on preterm birth sheds light on the risk factor.(Shutterstock)

In a groundbreaking research, scientists from University of Pennsylvania, US have found specific bacteria that might change the cervix of a pregnant woman and lead to preterm birth.

The study examined the effects of three specific bacteria (Mobiluncus mulieris, Gardnerella vaginalis and Lactobacillus) on cervical cell. The team found that two of the bacteria studied play a role in spontaneous preterm birth by compromising the cervix and causing changes in the expression of genes. The third bacteria studied did not have the same effect.


Study’s lead author, Michal Elovitz, noted, “Vaginal and cervical bacteria have diverse effects on the cervix. After previous human studies, in which the mechanism was not fully understood, this is an exciting next step to better understanding spontaneous preterm birth.”

The study will be presented in Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting on February 1.

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