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Chlamydia trachomatis infection in mothers with preterm delivery and in their newborn infants

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We studied Chlamydia trachomatis infection in mothers with preterm delivery and intrauterine transmission of the infection to their offspring. Forty-one mothers with preterm labour and their newborn infants (n=50) were studied for the presence of C. trachomatis infection using microimmunofluorescence test for detection of serum antibodies against C. trachomatis and polymerase chain reaction for detection of C. trachomatis-specific DNA in mucosal swabs. Antibodies to C. trachomatis were found in serum of 12 mothers (29%). Five of fourteen mothers had C. trachomatis DNA in cervical specimens. Eighteen neonates were born to the 14 mothers with positive serology and/or C. trachomatis DNA. C. trachomatis DNA was detected in specimens from 10 of the 18 neonates (55.5%). Three of the available cord blood samples contained C. trachomatis IgM antibodies. Our results strongly suggest that mothers and their preterm babies may benefit from screening for active C. trachomatis infection.

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Keywords: C. trachomatis antibodies; intrauterine infection; preterm delivery

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Haartman Institute, Department of Virology, 2: Hospital for Children and Adolescents and 3: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: 01 September 2001

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