, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 323–327 | Cite as

Neonatal Ureaplasma urealyticum colonization increases pulmonary and cerebral morbidity despite treatment with macrolide antibiotics

  • Bernhard ReschEmail author
  • C. Gutmann
  • F. Reiterer
  • J. Luxner
  • B. Urlesberger
Original Paper



To evaluate the influence of Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU) colonization on neonatal pulmonary and cerebral morbidity.


Single-center case–control study including all preterm infants with positive UU tracheal colonization between 1990 and 2012. Cases were matched with controls by birth year, gestational age, birth weight, and sex. All cases had received macrolide antibiotics for UU infection starting at the time of first positive culture results from tracheal aspirates. Main outcome parameters included presence and severity of hyaline membrane disease (IRDS), duration of ventilation, bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 36 postmenstrual age and neurological morbidities (seizures, intra-/periventricular hemorrhages-I/PVH, periventricular leukomalacia-PVL).


Of 74 cases identified 8 died and 4 had to be excluded; thus, 62 preterm infants were compared to 62 matched controls. UU was significantly associated with IRDS (79 vs. 61 %, p = 0.015), BPD (24 vs. 6 %, p = 0.003), seizures (23 vs. 5 %, p = 0.002) and I/PVH (45 vs. 24 %, p = 0.028). Cases had longer duration of mechanical ventilation and total duration of invasive and non-invasive ventilation (median 11 vs. 6 days p = 0.006 and 25 vs. 16.5 days p = 0.019, respectively).


UU was found to be significantly associated with pulmonary short- and long-term morbidity and mild cerebral impairment despite treatment with macrolide antibiotics.


Ureaplasma urealyticum Erythromycin Respiratory distress syndrome Bronchopulmonary dysplasia Intraventricular hemorrhage 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Resch
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • C. Gutmann
    • 1
  • F. Reiterer
    • 2
  • J. Luxner
    • 3
  • B. Urlesberger
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Unit for Neonatal Infectious Diseases and EpidemiologyMedical University of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Division of Neonatology, Department of PediatricsMedical University of GrazGrazAustria
  3. 3.Institute for Hygiene, Microbiology and Environmental MedicineMedical University of GrazGrazAustria

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