Previous research suggests that nearly half of preterm infants younger than 32 weeks’ gestation are infected with Ureaplasma, a bacterium that is commonly found in the birth canal but is difficult to identify. Infection with Ureaplasma can lead to severe respiratory issues and can increase their likelihood of mortality. However, research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress suggests that azithromycin can effectively reduce the frequency of death in premature infants.
“Preterm infants who are at greatest risk for negative neonatal outcomes are those infants born before 27 weeks’ gestation, or 13 weeks before their expected due date, who have a lung infection with Ureaplasma bacteria and require a ventilator for breathing support,” Rose Marie Viscardi, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “This group of infants is at increased risk for death, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, chronic lung problems and more lung health problems in their first year of life.”
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