The study, published in Pediatric Pulmonology, showed subjects colonized or infected with the Ureaplasma bacteria developed BPD or died 73 percent of the time in the azithromycin-treated group, compared to 94 percent of the time in the placebo group.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is a chronic lung disorder characterized by inflammation and scarring in the lungs. It is common among premature infants, whose lungs are not fully developed before birth.
This disorder can lead to chronic lung damage or death. Many infants who survive are at a greater risk for having recurrent respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis.
The presence of the Ureaplasma bacterium is a risk factor in developing BPD. This bacterium causes inflammation in the lungs and can also lead to meningitis, pneumonia or septicemia. It is passed on from mother to child. An estimated 80 percent of women are already colonized with it, and nearly 45 percent of extremely preterm infants are affected by it.
"Current preventative therapies for bronchopulmonary dysplasia are limited," said Dr. Hubert O. Ballard, the UK neonatologist leading the study. "Because the inflammation from a Ureaplasma infection often leads to BPD, and because this bacterium is so easily spread to infants from the mother, we sought to find out if the anti-inflammatory benefits of azithromycin could help prevent the disorder from developing."
The study was performed on a group of 220 infants admitted to the UK Neonatal Intensive Care Unit from September 2004 to August 2008. Enrollment criteria included a birth weight of less than 1,250 grams, the use of intermittent mechanical ventilation for fewer than 12 hours, and an age of under 72 hours.
Upon enrollment, each infact was randomized to receive azithromycin or a placebo for a total of six weeks. Infants testing positive for Ureaplasma were placed in a separate subgroup of the study.
Ballard, et al, previously published a pilot study that demonstrated a possible benefit of azithromycin prophylaxis in infants weighing less than 1,000 grams, but the original study excluded patients who tested positive for the Ureaplasma bacteria.
Neither the previous study nor the current study demonstrated a statistically significant benefit to using azithromycin therapy to prevent BPD in preterm infants who were not colonized or infected with Ureasplasma.
Though the results of the study show potential for preventing bronchopulmonary dysplasia in Ureaplasma-colonized or infected patients, Dr. Ballard stressed that a larger multi-centered trial is needed to properly assess the benefits of azithromycin for these subjects.
"Our research demonstrates the benefit of treating preterm infants with azithromycin who are colonized or infected with Ureaplasma. To date, this is the largest single-center study to evaluate azithromycin use in preterm infants," Ballard said. "However, further studies are required to evaluate azithromycin therapy for the routine treatment of Ureaplasma colonization/infection in the preterm population."
Allison Perry | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences
26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering