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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

6 Issues per year

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Preterm labor and bacterial vaginosis-associated bacteria among urban women

Deborah B. Nelson1 / Alexandra Hanlon2 / Sarmina Hassan3 / Johnson Britto4 / Osnat Geifman-Holtzman5 / Catherine Haggerty6 / David N. Fredricks7

1Department of Public Health, College of Health Professions, Temple University, USA and Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, School of Medicine, Temple University, USA

2Department of Public Health, College of Health Professions, Temple University, USA

3Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, School of Medicine, Temple University, USA

4Department of Public Health, College of Health Professions, Temple University, USA

5Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, School of Medicine, Temple University, USA

6Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, USA

7Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, USA

Corresponding author: Deborah B. Nelson, PhD Temple University 1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave Room 905 Philadelphia PA 19122 USA Tel.: +1-215-204-9659 Fax: +1-215-204-1854

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine. Volume 37, Issue 2, Pages 130–134, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2009.026, November 2008

Publication History

Published Online:


Aims: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects millions of women, is extremely prevalent and is frequently chronic. We recognize numerous microbiologic variations among women with BV and this variability may explain the limited effectiveness of metronidazole in curing BV and/or reducing the risk of spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) among BV-positive pregnant women. We assessed the independent role of seven common BV-associated bacteria on the risk of spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) among urban pregnant women.

Methods: This prospective cohort study was conducted within an urban obstetrics practice at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Fifty pregnant women with documented singleton pregnancies between 25–36 weeks' gestation from February 2007 through June 2007 who presented to the Labor and Delivery Unit for evaluation of uterine contractions/preterm labor were enrolled.

Results: We found that high median levels of Gardnerella vaginalis and low median levels of Lactobacillus crispatus were significantly predictive of SPTB. Slightly higher levels of Megasphaera-like species were also found among the group of women experiencing a SPTB during the follow-up period.

Conclusions: Further identification of the individual attributable risk for separate BV-associated bacteria may be most useful in developing successful treatments to prevent SPTB among BV positive women.

Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis; Gardnerella vaginalis; Lactobacillus crispatus; spontaneous preterm birth

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