A randomized placebo-controlled trial of erythromycin for the treatment of Ureaplasma urealyticum to prevent premature delivery. The Vaginal Infections and Prematurity Study Group

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Mar;164(3):734-42. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(91)90506-m.


Ureaplasma urealyticum has been associated with low birth weight and histologic chorioamnionitis and it is a frequent isolate from the chorioamnion of patients who are delivered prematurely. In prior clinical trials using antibiotics active against U. urealyticum, antibiotic treatment was associated with reduced prematurity and increased mean birth weight. In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind clinical trial, pregnant women with U. urealyticum were treated with 333 mg of erythromycin base or placebo three times daily, starting between 26 and 30 weeks' gestation and continuing through 35 completed weeks of pregnancy. Women with urinary tract infection or Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection were excluded from the trial, and women with Chlamydia trachomatis or group B streptococci were excluded from these analyses. Erythromycin did not eliminate U. urealyticum from the lower genital tract. There were no significant differences between erythromycin- and placebo-treated women in infant birth weight or gestational age at delivery, in frequency of premature rupture of membranes, or in neonatal outcome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Erythromycin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mycoplasmatales Infections / drug therapy*
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Ureaplasma / drug effects*


  • Erythromycin