Genes that regulate maternal inflammatory response, bacterial vaginosis and preterm birth related

Feb 04, 2010

In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will show the use of haplotype tagging (hap-tag) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to study the relationship between genetic predispositions, an environmental factor - bacterial vaginosis, and preterm birth.

Studies previously demonstrated that within genes that regulate the maternal inflammatory response are associated with an increased risk of spontaneous preterm delivery (SPTD). The new study sought to determine if an environmental exposure associated with maternal inflammation, bacterial vaginosis (BV), modifies these genetic susceptibilities.

The March of Dimes notes that babies born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy are called premature, and in the United States, about 12.8 percent of babies (more than half a million a year) are born prematurely.

The study that was conducted was a prospective cohort study in which maternal samples were collected from 744 women, and demographics and outcomes data were recorded. Vaginal smears for Gram-staining were obtained from subjects at 26-28 wk gestation. It studied hap-tag SNPs in 5 BioCarta and KEGG pathways in which >3 SNPs were strongly associated (P<0.01) with sptd at <37 weeks (illumina goldengate 1,536-snp custom chip panel). associations between genotype distributions and sptd were examined using fisher\'s exact tests.

In the cohort, 68 women experienced SPTD at <37 wk, while 676 women delivered at term (9.1% sptd rate). 306 women had asymptomatic bv (nugent score *7) at 26-28 wk, and bv was not associated with an increased risk of sptd (p=0.30). 20 hap-tag snps were associated with an increased risk of sptd (p<0.05) in the bv+ group. for 9 snps in 3 genes (flt1, prkca, and il6), the or of sptd ranged from 2.0-7.0 among bv+ women who were carriers of the rare allele, and the or for sptd were 2.0-5.0 times greater among bv+ women than among bv- women (p<0.05 for test of homogeneity between ors).

"The result is that chip assays for hap-tag SNPs provide a powerful tool for studying genes related to and increase our potential to find groups of SNPs in biologically relevant pathways that might cause ," said Dr. Samuel Parry, the study's author of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "It is unlikely that any single SNP is related with a large percentage of preterm births."

Explore further: Genetic testing in kids is fraught with complications

Related Stories

Preterm birth rate drops

Mar 18, 2009

The nation's preterm birth rate declined slightly in 2007 - a finding that the March of Dimes hopes will prove to be the start of a new trend in improved maternal and infant health.

Genetic mutations may contribute to preterm birth risk

Jan 31, 2008

Genetic mutations in the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofoloate reductase (MTHFR) and coagulation protein Factor V appear to have significant association with blood clots and tissue injury to the placenta and developing baby, ...

Folic acid cuts risk of premature birth

Feb 01, 2008

A U.S study suggests that women who take folic acid supplements before they become pregnant can cut their risk of having a premature baby by half.

More babies born prematurely, new report shows

Dec 06, 2007

The preterm birth rate rose again in 2005 and preliminary data for 2006 show a continued increase, underscoring the urgent need for a sustained, comprehensive plan to address this growing crisis.

Recommended for you

Genetic testing in kids is fraught with complications

Jul 02, 2015

A woman coping with the burden of familial breast cancer can't help but wonder if her young daughter will suffer the same fate. Has she inherited the same disease-causing mutation? Is it best to be prepared ...

Cause of acute liver failure in young children discovered

Jul 02, 2015

Acute liver failure is a rare yet life-threatening disease for young children. It often occurs extremely rapidly, for example, when a child has a fever. Yet in around 50 percent of cases it is unclear as to why this happens. ...

Genome sequencing illuminates rare Aicardi syndrome

Jul 02, 2015

As my inbox fills with ever more updates on the number of human genomes sequenced and the plummeting time and cost of next next next generation sequencing, I find myself hitting delete more and more often. ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Feb 04, 2010
Helping women get rid of bacterial vagionsis
not rated yet Feb 17, 2010
Is the 12.8 percent seen in the usa for premature births about average as compared to other countries around the world?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.