Zee Media Bureau/Shruti Saxena
New Delhi: A new study indicates that the presence of a specific bacteria at the site where foetal membranes break prematurely leading to labour, may be a major cause of premature births.
The condition wherein the water breaks prematurely in a pregnant woman, is termed as preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM).
Nearly one-third of all premature births are caused due to early rupture of membranes.
Researchers at Duke University School of Medicine examined membrane samples in 48 women, who had just given birth, those with PPROM, those who had an early birth for other reasons, and those with babies born at full term, and found that the presence of certain bacteria leads to thinning of membranes around the baby and eventually causing them to rupture.
It is important to understand that if the bacteria are the major cause of early membrane rupture, then this study may lead to new treatments or screen for women at risk.
However, more research needs to be conducted in this direction to find out treatments that will help bar premature births.
The report is published in the January 08 online issue of the journal PLoS One.