Association of bactericidal activity of genital tract secretions with Escherichia coli colonization in pregnancy.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 08/10/2012
Ghartey J.P et al. – This study aims to test the hypothesis that bactericidal activity of genital tract secretions against Escherichia coli may be modulated during pregnancy. It was seen that the soluble mucosal immune environment is altered in pregnancy. The authors speculate that the observed changes may protect against colonization and ascending infection and could provide a biomarker to identify pregnant women at risk for infectious complications including preterm birth.Methods
- Secretions were collected by vaginal swab from 70 pregnant women (35–37 weeks' gestation) and 35 nonpregnant controls
- E coli were mixed with swab eluants or control buffer and colonies enumerated to measure bactericidal activity.
- Cytokines, chemokines, and antimicrobial peptides were quantified by multiplex or enzyme–linked immunosorbent assay
- Pregnant women had significantly greater bactericidal activity, higher concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, and lower levels of beta defensins compared to controls.
- Seven (10%) pregnant and 8 (23%) nonpregnant women were vaginally colonized with E coli; colonization was inversely associated with bactericidal activity.