Projects per year
Problem: Complement is a central defence against sepsis, and increasing complement insufficiency in neonates of greater prematurity may predispose to increased sepsis. Ureaplasma spp. are the most frequently cultured bacteria from preterm blood samples. Method of study: A sheep model of intrauterine Ureaplasma parvum infection was used to examine in vivo Ureaplasma bacteraemia at early and late gestational ages. Complement function and Ureaplasma killing assays were used to determine the correlation between complement potency and bactericidal activity of sera ex vivo. Results: Ureaplasma was cultured from 50% of 95-day gestation lamb cord blood samples compared to 10% of 125-day gestation lambs. Bactericidal activity increased with increased gestational age, and a direct correlation between functional complement activity and bactericidal activity (R2=.86; P<.001) was found for 95-day gestational lambs. Conclusions: Ureaplasma bacteraemia in vivo was confined to early preterm lambs with low complement function, but Ureaplasma infection itself did not diminish complement levels.
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- 2 Finished
1/01/11 → 31/12/13