Experimental intrauterine Ureaplasma infection in sheep

T.J.M. Moss, Ilias Nitsos, M. Ikegami, A.H. Jobe, John Newnham

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    Prenatal Ureaplasma spp exposure is associated with preterm birth and modulates the neonates' susceptibility to respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We hypothesized that intra-amniotic ureaplasmas would cause lung inflammation and alter fetal lung development.Study designPregnant ewes bearing singleton fetuses were given an intra-amniotic injection of 20 × 106 CFUs of U parvum (serovar 3) or vehicle, either 1, 3, 6, or 10 weeks before the delivery of preterm lambs at 124 days of gestation (n = 4-10 per group) for evaluation of inflammation and fetal lung maturation.ResultsUreaplasmas were recovered from amniotic and fetal lung fluids after intra-amniotic injection. Body weight and umbilical arterial pH were reduced by Ureaplasma exposure for 10 weeks (P <.05). Ureaplasmas caused progressive lung inflammation and improvements in lung function that were associated with increased surfactant lipids (control, 0.13 ± 0.02 μmol/kg; 10 weeks of Ureaplasma exposure, 7.43 ± 3.0 μmol/kg; P <.001) and surfactant protein messenger RNA expression.ConclusionLong-term exposure to ureaplasmas in amniotic fluid alters ovine fetal development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1179-1186
    JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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