Amniotic fluid infections linked to premature births
Researchers find a greater number and variety of bacteria and fungi in a notable portion of women with pre-term deliveries. The more severe the infection, the earlier they were likely to give birth.
By Mary Engel 胡德良 譯Microbes in the wrong place at the wrong time -- a woman's amniotic fluid during pregnancy -- may play a role in causing premature births, according to a study published in the online journal PLoS ONE. 發表在《公共科學圖書館・綜合》雜誌在線版上的一項研究表明：在婦女懷孕期間，生活在羊水裏的細菌可謂不合時宜，很可能會引起早產。 Using sensitive molecular techniques, researchers found a greater quantity and variety of bacteria and fungi in a significant portion of women who gave birth prematurely. The more severe the infection, the earlier the women were likely to give birth. 研究人員利用敏感分子技術，在相當一部分早產的婦女中發現了大量各種各樣的細菌和真菌。感染越嚴重，有可能生產得就越早。 The amniotic sac, which surrounds a fetus, has long been considered a protected, almost inviolable, site. 很久以來，處於胎兒周圍的羊膜囊幾乎被認爲是一個不可侵犯的地方。 "Certain kinds of organisms have been known to get in and not necessarily cause any harm," said Dr. David Relman, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford University School of Medicine and the study's senior author. "But in general, bugs don't belong there." “據我們所知，某些特定的生物體可以進入羊膜囊，但未必造成任何傷害，”大衛・雷爾曼博士表示，“但一般說來，病菌不是從那裏滋生的。”雷爾曼博士是斯坦福大學醫學院的傳染病學專家，也是該研究項目的發起人，資歷頗深。 One in eight American infants is born before full term, which is defined as 37 completed weeks. 美國嬰兒中有八分之一出生時未足月。足月被定義爲整整37周的時間。 The high rate is attributed in part to assisted reproduction, which often results in twins or triplets. But the cause of about half of all spontaneous premature births is a mystery. 許多早產是由於輔助生殖造成，通常生產出雙胞胎或三胞胎。但是，在所有自然早產的情況中，有大約一半原因不明。 Babies born too early can have learning disabilities, neurological problems, lung diseases and cerebral palsy. Prematurity is the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, accounting for more than a third of all infant deaths, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 出生過早的嬰兒可能會發生學習障礙、神經疾病、肺部疾病和大腦性麻痹。根據全國疾病預防控制中心的數據，在美國早產是造成嬰兒死亡的最主要的原因，佔嬰兒死亡總數的三分之一還多。 Dr. Dan DiGiulio, a research associate in Relman's laboratory, used two techniques of molecular biology -- polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing -- to look for microbes in amniotic fluid samples from 166 women in preterm labor. Of these women, 113 went on to deliver prematurely and 53 carried their babies to full term. 雷爾曼實驗室的研究人員丹・迪基里奧博士利用了兩種分子生物學技術――聚合酶鏈反應和DNA測序，從羊水取樣中尋找微生物，這些取樣來自166名等待早產的婦女。這些婦女中，有113名接下來發生了早產，53名繼續懷胎到足月。 DiGiulio found evidence of infection in 15% of the samples, all from women who gave birth early. The microbes found represented one fungal and 17 bacterial species, including one that had never been identified, according to the report published Monday. 迪基里奧發現，15%的羊水取樣有感染的跡象，全部來自早產的婦女。星期一發布的報道表明：所發現的微生物中有一種屬於真菌，17種屬於細菌，還包括一種從來未見過的菌種。 One of the most common was Leptotrichia, which can be found in the mouth and the vagina. Both gum disease and bacterial vaginosis have been linked with a higher risk of premature delivery. 一種最常見的微生物之一是纖毛菌，存在於口腔和陰道中。牙周病和細菌性陰道病都會造成較高的早產機率。
譯自：美國《洛杉磯時報》網（August 30, 2008）