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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Greenough, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, M.J.M.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Ogata, Edward / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

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Vaginal lactobacilli and preterm birth

R. Usui / A. Ohkuchi / S. Matsubara / A. Izumi / T. Watanabe / M. Suzuki / H. Minakami

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine. Volume 30, Issue 6, Pages 458–466, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2002.072, June 2005

Publication History

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Objective: To assess the relationship between the absence of vaginal lactobacilli and preterm birth at < 33 weeks of gestation. Methods: A prospective study of the vaginal flora in the second trimester was undertaken in 1958 women with singleton pregnancies. The contribution of various microorganisms to preterm delivery was analyzed using a multivariate-logistic regression model. Results: Lactobacillus species were not cultured from 28% of 118 women who delivered at < 33 weeks, 10% of 224 women who delivered between 33 and 36 weeks, and 5% of 1616 women who delivered at > 37 weeks of gestation. Lactobacilli (odds ratio and 95% confidence interval: 0.15 [0.09 to 0.24]), Mycoplasma hominis (2.3 [1.0 to 5.4]), and glucose non-fermentative gram-negative rods (2.1 [1.0 to 4.2]) were identified as independent risk factors for preterm delivery at < 33 weeks of gestation. Absence of lactobacilli (sensitivity and positive predictive value: 28% and 25%) was a better predictor of preterm delivery at < 33 weeks of gestation than the presence of Mycoplasma hominis (7% and 13%, respectively) or glucose non-fermentative rods (9% and 11%). Conclusions: Although this was not a cohort study, results suggest that tests for determining the presence of vaginal lactobacilli may be clinically useful tools for identifying women at an increased risk of preterm delivery at < 33weeks of gestation.

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