Nav: Home

Researchers advance the understanding of preterm birth

January 30, 2018

Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The causes for preterm birth are complex and not fully understood, however emerging data suggest that the presence of certain bacteria in a woman's vagina and cervix may increase her risk of premature birth. In a study to be presented on February 1, 2018, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy MeetingTM, researchers will unveil findings that demonstrate that the byproducts of bacteria induce cervical changes which may lead to preterm birth.

The study to be presented was funded by the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania and examined the effects of three specific bacteria (Mobiluncus mulieris, Gardnerella vaginalis and Lactobacillus) on cervical cells. Researchers found that two of the bacteria studied play a role in spontaneous preterm birth by compromising the cervix and causing changes in the expression of genes. The third bacteria studied did not have the same effect.

"Vaginal and cervical bacteria have diverse effects on the cervix," said Michal Elovitz, MD, lead author of the study and professor of obstetrics and gynecology, vice chair of translational research, and director of the Maternal and Child Health Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. "After previous human studies, in which the mechanism was not fully understood, this is an exciting next step to better understanding spontaneous preterm birth."
-end-
About SMFM

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (est. 1977) is a non-profit membership organization representing the interests of obstetricians/gynecologists who have additional formal education in maternal-fetal medicine. The Society is devoted to reducing high-risk pregnancy complications by providing continuing education to its more than 2,000 members on the latest pregnancy assessment and treatment methods. It also serves as an advocate for improving public policy, and expanding research funding and opportunities for maternal-fetal medicine. SMFM hosts an annual scientific meeting in which new ideas and research in the area of maternal-fetal medicine are unveiled and discussed. For more information, visit http://www.smfm.org.

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Related Bacteria Articles:

Conducting shell for bacteria
Under anaerobic conditions, certain bacteria can produce electricity. This behavior can be exploited in microbial fuel cells, with a special focus on wastewater treatment schemes.
Controlling bacteria's necessary evil
Until now, scientists have only had a murky understanding of how these relationships arise.
Bacteria take a deadly risk to survive
Bacteria need mutations -- changes in their DNA code -- to survive under difficult circumstances.
How bacteria hunt other bacteria
A bacterial species that hunts other bacteria has attracted interest as a potential antibiotic, but exactly how this predator tracks down its prey has not been clear.
Chlamydia: How bacteria take over control
To survive in human cells, chlamydiae have a lot of tricks in store.
Stress may protect -- at least in bacteria
Antibiotics harm bacteria and stress them. Trimethoprim, an antibiotic, inhibits the growth of the bacterium Escherichia coli and induces a stress response.
'Pulling' bacteria out of blood
Magnets instead of antibiotics could provide a possible new treatment method for blood infection.
New findings detail how beneficial bacteria in the nose suppress pathogenic bacteria
Staphylococcus aureus is a common colonizer of the human body.
Understanding your bacteria
New insight into bacterial cell division could lead to advancements in the fight against harmful bacteria.
Bacteria are individualists
Cells respond differently to lack of nutrients.

Related Bacteria Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...