Ureaplasma urealyticum infection
|Ureaplasma urealyticum infection|
Ureaplasma urealyticum is a type of bacteria that can cause infection of the urinary tract and vagina. It can be passed from mother to infant during birth, or be sexually transmitted. Ureaplasma urealyticum can be found in a majority of sexually active people, most of whom are asymptomatic. It can also be found in cultures in cases of pelvic inflammatory disease. It is not a commensal of the healthy uterine or amniotic microbiome. Infection with U. urealyticum can contribute to neonatal infection and negative birth outcomes.
Women and infants
Infection in the newborn is accompanied by a strong immune response and is correlated with the need for prolonged mechanical ventilation. Infection with U. urealyticum in pregnancy and birth can be complicated by chorioamnionitis, stillbirth, premature birth, and, in the perinatal period, pneumonia, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and meningitis. U. urealyticum has been found to be present in amniotic fluid in women who have had a premature birth with intact fetal membranes.
U. urealyticum has been noted as one of the infectious causes of sterile pyuria. It increases the morbidity as a cause of neonatal infections. It is associated with premature birth, preterm rupture of membranes, preterm labor, cesarean section, placental inflammation, congenital pneumonia, bacteremia, meningitis, fetal lung injury and death of infant. Ureaplasma urealyticum is associated with miscarriage. In addition, this pathogen may latently infect the chorionic villi tissues of pregnant women, thereby impacting pregnancy outcome.
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Doxycycline is the drug of choice, but azithromycin is also used as a five-day course rather than a single dose that would be used to treat Chlamydia infection; streptomycin is an alternative, but is less popular because it must be injected. Penicillins are ineffective — U. urealyticum does not have a cell wall, which is the drug's main target.
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