Objective: To examine internal organ tissues and placentas of stillbirths for various pathogens. Design: Prospective, observational study. Settings: Three study hospitals in India and a large maternity hospital in Pakistan. Population: Stillborn infants delivered in a study hospital. Methods: A prospective observational study. Main outcome measures: Organisms identified by pathogen polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in internal organs and placental tissues of stillbirths. Results: Of 2437 stillbirth internal tissues, 8.3% (95% CI 7.2–9.4) were positive. Organisms were most commonly detected in brain (12.3%), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (9.5%) and whole blood (8.4%). Ureaplasma urealyticum/parvum was the organism most frequently detected in at least one internal organ (6.4% of stillbirths and 2% of all tissues). Escherichia coli/Shigella was the next most common (4.1% one or more internal organ tissue sample and 1.3% of tissue samples), followed by Staphylococcus aureus in at least one internal organ tissue (1.9% and 0.9% of all tissues). None of the other organisms was found in more than 1.4% of the tissue samples in stillbirths or more than 0.6% of the internal tissues examined. In the placenta tissue, membrane or cord blood combined, 42.8% (95% CI 40.2–45.3) had at least one organism identified, with U. urealyticum/parvum representing the most commonly identified (27.8%). Conclusions: In about 8% of stillbirths, there was evidence of a pathogen in an internal organ. Ureaplasma urealyticum/parvum was the most common organism found in the placenta and in the internal tissues, especially in the fetal brain.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2023|
- minimall invasive tissue sampling