Role of Ureaplasma Respiratory Tract Colonization in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Pathogenesis: Current Concepts and Update

Clin Perinatol. 2015 Dec;42(4):719-38. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2015.08.003. Epub 2015 Oct 9.


Respiratory tract colonization with the genital mycoplasma species Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum in preterm infants is a significant risk factor for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Recent studies of the ureaplasmal genome, animal infection models, and human infants have provided a better understanding of specific virulence factors, pathogen-host interactions, and variability in genetic susceptibility that contribute to chronic infection, inflammation, and altered lung development. This review provides an update on the current evidence supporting a causal role of ureaplasma infection in BPD pathogenesis. The current status of antibiotic trials to prevent BPD in Ureaplasma-infected preterm infants is also reviewed.

Keywords: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Macrolide antibiotics; Prematurity; Ureaplasma parvum; Ureaplasma urealyticum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / immunology
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / microbiology*
  • Carrier State / drug therapy
  • Carrier State / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Inflammation
  • Respiratory System / immunology
  • Respiratory System / microbiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology*
  • Ureaplasma
  • Ureaplasma Infections / drug therapy
  • Ureaplasma Infections / immunology*
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents