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Acinetobacter Species Associated with Spontaneous Preterm Birth and Histological Chorioamnionitis
Aim: Preterm birth is a complex and unresolved public health problem across the globe. Infection is a factor for which a causal link has been established with preterm birth. A better understanding of its aetiology is required to improve obstetric and neonatal care. The case highlights the limitations of current obstetric hospital microbiology tests, and contributes to the knowledge of bacterial pathogens in the female genital tract associated with preterm birth. Case Presentation: A woman presented with no signs of infection and spontaneously delivered preterm at 34 weeks gestation. Culture-based microbiological results from blood samples and swabs of mother and child were negative. Postpartum histopathology of the placenta demonstrated chorioamnionitis, and vasculitis of the umbilical cord. Cultivation-independent PCR analyses showed a massive Acinetobacter spp. infection. Conclusion: Cultivation-independent PCR analyses may detect potentially pathogenic species when standard culture-based techniques are negative. The frequency of Acinetobacter spp. infections during pregnancy and in neonatal units manifests the need to develop appropriate diagnostic methods that can become standard practice in hospitals and clinics.