Association between pulmonary ureaplasma colonization and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants: updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2014 Jul;33(7):697-702. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000239.


Background: Previous meta-analyses have reported a significant association between pulmonary colonization with Ureaplasma and development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). However, because few studies reporting oxygen dependency at 36 weeks corrected gestation were previously available, we updated the systematic review and meta-analyses to evaluate the association between presence of pulmonary Ureaplasma and development of BPD.

Methods: Five databases were searched for articles reporting the incidence of BPD at 36 weeks postmenstrual age (BPD36) and/or BPD at 28 days of life (BPD28) in Ureaplasma colonized and noncolonized groups. Pooled estimates were produced using random effects meta-analysis. Meta-regression was used to assess the influence of difference in gestational age between the Ureaplasma-positive and Ureaplasma-negative groups. The effects of potential sources of heterogeneity were also investigated.

Results: Of 39 studies included, 8 reported BPD36, 22 reported BPD28 and 9 reported both. The quality of studies was assessed as moderate to good. There was a significant association between Ureaplasma and development of BPD36 (odds ratio = 2.22; 95% confidence intervals: 1.42-3.47) and BPD28 (odds ratio = 3.04; 95% confidence intervals: 2.41-3.83). Sample size influenced the odds ratio, but no significant association was noted between BPD28 rates and difference in gestational age between Ureaplasma colonized and noncolonized infants (P = 0.96).

Conclusions: Pulmonary colonization with Ureaplasma continues to be significantly associated with development of BPD in preterm infants at both 36 weeks postmenstrual age and at 28 days of life. This association at BPD28 persists regardless of difference in gestational age.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Ureaplasma / isolation & purification*
  • Ureaplasma Infections / epidemiology*