Objective: To determine the prevalence of Ureaplasma urealyticum and Ureaplasma parvum bacteremia in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants and to evaluate the associated factors.
Materials and Methods: Ninety-five VLBW newborns with gestational age ≤32 weeks were included in the study conducted between March 2009 and July 2010. DNA was extracted from the blood samples collected during the first 72 hours of life, and U. urealyticum and/or U. parvum were identified by polymerase chain reaction. The newborns were followed up until hospital discharge.
Results: The prevalence of U. urealyticum and/or U. parvum bacteremia was 12.6% (12 cases): 5 (5.2%) for U. urealyticum, 5 (5.2%) for U. parvum, and 2 (2.1%) for both. Based on the univariate analysis, the presence of Ureaplasma was associated with clinical chorioamnionitis and spontaneous preterm labor. Preeclampsia and small for gestational age were associated with lower incidence of Ureaplasma. When spontaneous preterm labor was present, the prevalence of Ureaplasma bacteremia was 25%. Only spontaneous preterm labor was a statistically significant factor after step-by-step logistic regression analysis (P = 0.006), with 9-fold increase in chance of neonatal Ureaplasma bacteremia.
Conclusions: Ureaplasma bacteremia is common in VLBW infants, especially among those born after preterm labor.