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The role of antibacterials in women at risk of preterm birth

Abstract

Preterm birth (delivery before 37 weeks' gestation) is the commonest cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity in developed countries.1 Most of these births occur after spontaneous preterm labour.2 Intrauterine infection (often subclinical) is strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of spontaneous preterm labour.3 Consequently many published trials have assessed antibacterial therapy used with the aim of preventing preterm birth and associated adverse outcomes. Here we review this evidence and guidelines on antibacterial therapy in women at risk of preterm birth.

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