Human Ureaplasma species are the most common microbes found in amniotic fluid and in the placenta after preterm birth, and have previously been correlated with chorioamnionitis, preterm labor, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, among other adverse birth and neonatal outcomes. Although these correlations exist, there still remains little explanation as to whether Ureaplasma plays a pathogenic role in the development of neonatal disease. In addition, Ureaplasma species are not usually identified on routine culture as they require special culture methods because of their fastidious growth requirements. Treatment of Ureaplasma with macrolides has been shown to effectively eradicate the bacteria in pregnant women and infants. However, it is unclear whether this leads to improved neonatal morbidity and mortality, or whether these generally represent commensal organisms. This review will synthesize the current perspectives about the proposed mechanisms of pathogenicity of Ureaplasma bacteria, its links to poor neonatal outcomes, and the role of screening and treatment in current clinical practice.

You do not currently have access to this content.