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Seattle Children's explores the link between bacteria and still and premature births

PHOTO: Seattle Children's/Facebook


A new Seattle Children’s Research Institute study examines the connection between bacteria and the prevention of stillbirths and premature births. Per the hospital, in America 30 percent of babies are born preterm, with higher statistics in the developing world. Additionally, 1.4 million neonatal deaths annually are linked to "preterm birth and early onset infections."

Pregnant women in the United States are tested for GBS, a bacteria commonly found in healthy women, which does not usually lead to but can cause infections in neonates and infants and cause to stillbirth or early birth. Women testing positive for the bacteria during pregnancy are given antibiotics during labor to prevent infections, but to date no effective in utero therapy exists. According to the study, "there is no effective therapy to prevent preterm birth and stillbirth, in part because of the lack of information on factors contributing to in utero infections."

A doctor at the Seattle Children's Research Institute is working to prevent GBS infections during pregnancy by exploring how the infections occur before a baby is born. Read details about the National Institutes of Health-funded study via the hospital's On the Pulse blog.

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