A major cause of premature birth may be caused by specific bacteria, according to research.
Researchers have found a new reason behind a pregnant woman’s water breaking too soon- a specific bacteria.
The finding by US team, published in the journal Plos One suggests that certain bacteria might trigger early labour, before the baby develops full-term. These bacteria may lead to thinning of the membranes around the baby, causing them to tear.
Around a third of all premature deaths are caused by early rupture of membranes. Premature births can have long-term health effects for both mothers and children.
At the start of the labour, the membranes that make up the holding sac for the baby, breaks. When a pregnant woman’s water breaks before the baby has reached full term, the condition is medically known as preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM).
Study author Amy Murtha, associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Duke University School of Medicine, said: "For instance, if we think that certain bacteria are associated with premature rupturing of the membranes, we can screen for this bacteria early in pregnancy.
"We then might be able to treat affected women with antibiotics and reduce their risk for PPROM.
"Our research is several steps away from this, but it gives us opportunities to explore potential targeted therapeutic interventions, which we lack in obstetrics."
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