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Korean J Pediatr 2010 December;53(12) :989-993.
Ureaplasma infections in pre-term infants: Recent information regarding the role of Ureaplasma species as neonatal pathogens
Tae-Jung Sung (Sung TJ)
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding Author: Tae-Jung Sung ,Email:
Copyright © 2010 by The Korean Pediatric Society
Although numerous clinical observational studies have been conducted over a period of over 30 years, the clinical significance of Ureaplasma infection is still under debate. The Ureaplasma speices. is a commensal in the female genital tract and considered to have of low virulence; however, Ureaplasma colonization has been associated with infertility, stillbirth, preterm delivery, histologic chorioamnionitis, and neonatal morbidities, including congenital pneumonia, meningitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and perinatal death. Recently, Ureaplasma was subdivided into 2 separate species and 14 serovars. Ureaplasma parvum is known as biovar 1 and contains serovars 1, 3, 6, and 14, and Ureaplasma urealyticum (biovar 2) contains the remaining serovars (2, 4, 5, and 7-13). The existence of differences in pathogenicities of these 14 serovars and 2 biovars is controversial. Although macrolides are the only antimicrobial agents currently available for use in neonatal ureaplasmal infections, in the current clinical field, it is difficult to make decisions regarding which antibiotics should be used. Future investigations involving large, multicenter, randomized, controlled studies are needed before proper recommendations can be made for clinical practice.
Keywords: Ureaplasma parvum | Ureaplasma urealyticum | Neonatal pathogen | Prematurity
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