Study identifies possible causes of and protectors against premature birth

ScienceDaily | 3/21/2019 | Staff
dorkyrocker (Posted by) Level 3
"The results of this study give us a break we've been working toward for many years. Previous research suggested that the cervical vaginal microbiome is different in women who experience preterm birth but those studies had small numbers of women and were not conclusive. With this large cohort, for the first time, we're actually able to show the 'specific microbial signatures' that are involved in preterm birth," said lead author Michal Elovitz, MD, a professor Obstetrics & Gynecology at Penn Medicine and principal investigator of this study. Elovitz is also a co-investigator for the March of Dimes' Prematurity Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania which helps to support other mechanistic studies on the vaginal microbiome and preterm birth.

Spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB), defined as birth before 37 weeks of gestation, and its complications, are the largest contributors to infant death in the United States and worldwide. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious, costly and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays. The economic burden of preterm birth is staggering, with an estimated cost of $26 billion per year in the United States alone. A failure to predict and understand the causes of preterm birth has limited the development of effective interventions and therapies.

Study

In the new study,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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