A prospective study was carried out among pregnant women and their newborn babies in the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur from January 1996 to June 1997. The maternal cervical colonization rates of Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU) and Mycoplasma hominis (MH) were found to be 57.5% and 15.8% respectively while the isolation rates from nasopharyngeal secretions of the newborns were 50.8% for UU and 6.6% for MH. The overall transmission rates were 88.4% for UU and 42.1% for MH. There was no significant difference in the transmission rates of either organism from mothers to their respective newborn babies by the maturity of pregnancy. In preterm babies, the nasopharyngeal isolation rates of UU and MH were not influenced by the babies' gestational age and birth weight nor by the maternal history of abortion or parity. However, there was a tendency for UU to persist in the nasopharyngeal secretion of preterm babies especially those of birth weight below 2 kg. None of the babies contaminated with mycoplasmas at birth developed respiratory symptoms during six to eight weeks of follow-up.
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