PROBLEM: Microbial infections of the chorioamnion and amniotic fluid have d
evastating effects on pregnancy outcome and neonatal morbidity and mortalit
y. The mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens cause adverse effects are be
st addressed by an animal model of the disease with a naturally-occurring p
METHOD OF STUDY: Intrauterine infection in humans as well as genital mycopl
asmosis in humans and rodents is reviewed. We describe a genital infection
in rats, which provides a model for the role of infection in pregnancy, pre
gnancy wastage, low birth weight, and fetal infection.
RESULTS: Infection of Sprague-Dawley rats with Mycoplasma pulmonis either v
aginally or intravenously resulted in decreased litter size, increased adve
rse pregnancy outcome, and in utero transmission of the microorganism to th
CONCLUSION: Mycoplasma pulmonis is an ideal model to study maternal genital
infection during pregnancy, the impact of infections on pregnancy outcome,
fetal infection, and maternal-fetal immune interactions.