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Ureaplasma: Pathogen or Passenger in Neonatal Meningitis?

Clifford, Vanessa MB BS, BMedSc, MA, MPH*; Tebruegge, Marc DTM&H, DLSHTM, MRCPCH, MSc, MD*†‡; Everest, Neil MB BS, BSc, DRCOG§; Curtis, Nigel MA, MB BS, DCH, DTM&H, FRCPCH, PhD*†‡

Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: January 2010 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - pp 60-64
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181b21016
Instructive Cases

The significance of Ureaplasma species as pathogens in neonatal meningitis remains contentious. Using an illustrative case of a premature infant with Ureaplasma parvum meningitis, confirmed by cerebrospinal fluid cultures and both specific and 16s rDNA polymerase chain reaction, we discuss the epidemiology of Ureaplasma species, the difficulties involved in diagnosis and establishing pathogenicity, and the challenges in defining appropriate treatment.

From the *Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of General Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; †Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; ‡Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; and §Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Neonatology, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Accepted for publication June 9, 2009.

Supported by a Fellowship award from the European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) and an International Research Scholarship from the University of Melbourne (to M.T.).

Address for correspondence: Nigel Curtis, MA, MBBS, DCH, DTM&H, FRCPCH, PhD, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Flemington Rd, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia. E-mail: nigel.curtis@rch.org.au.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.