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1.  The Emergence of Clostridium difficile Infection among Peripartum Women: A Case-Control Study of a C. difficile Outbreak on an Obstetrical Service 
Objective. An outbreak of 20 peripartum Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) occurred on the obstetrical service at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) between April 2006 and June 2007. In this report, we characterize the clinical manifestations, describe interventions that appeared to reduce CDI, and determine potential risk factors for peripartum CDI. Methods. An investigation was initiated after the first three peripartum CDI cases. Based on the findings, enhanced infection control measures and a modified antibiotic regimen were implemented. We conducted a case-control study of peripartum cases and unmatched controls. Results. During the outbreak, there was an overall incidence of 7.5 CDI cases per 1000 deliveries. Peripartum CDI infection compared to controls was significantly associated with cesarean delivery (70% versus 34%; P = 0.03 ), antibiotic use (95% versus 56%; P = 0.001), chorioamnionitis (35% versus 5%; P = 0.001), and the use of the combination of ampicillin, gentamicin, and clindamycin (50% versus 3%; P < 0.001 ). Use of combination antibiotics remained a significant independent risk factor for CDI in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions. The outbreak was reduced after the implementation of multiple infection control measures and modification of antibiotic use. However, sporadic CDI continued for 8 months after these measures slowed the outbreak. Peripartum women appear to be another population susceptible to CDI.
PMCID: PMC3146991  PMID: 21811379
2.  Adherence to Diaphragm Use for Infection Prevention: A Prospective Study of Female Sex Workers in Kenya 
Objective. To assess adherence to and acceptability of the diaphragm among 140 female sex workers in Kenya in a 6-month prospective study. Methods. At baseline and bimonthly visits, participants were interviewed on diaphragm knowledge, attitude, and practices. We used principal component analysis and logistic regression to identify predictors of consistent use. Results. At 50% of 386 bimonthly visits, women reported consistently using a diaphragm with all partners during the preceding 2 weeks. Consistent use was significantly higher at the 6-month than the 2-month visit. Women reported less covert use with “helping” (regular sex partners to whom she could go for help or support) than with “other” partners. Perceptions that diaphragms are easier to use than condoms and that their lack of coital interruption is important were associated with consistent diaphragm use with both partner types. Partner support of diaphragm use is correlated with consistent use with “helping” partners only while higher parity, consistent condom use, and perceived lack of need of condoms as a benefit of diaphragms were associated with consistent use with “other” partners. Conclusions. Diaphragm acceptance among female sex workers in Nairobi was high. Future studies should distinguish between partner types when evaluating diaphragm adherence.
PMCID: PMC2833308  PMID: 20224648
3.  Relationship of Vaginal Bacteria and Inflammation With Conception and Early Pregnancy Loss Following In-Vitro Fertilization 
Objective: The aim of this study was investigate the impact of vaginal flora and vaginal inflammation on conception and early pregnancy loss following in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Methods: We enrolled 91 women who were undergoing IVF. At embryo transfer (ET), all of the women had quantitative vaginal culture, ET catheter-tip culture, and vaginal Gram stain scored for bacterial vaginosis and quantitated for polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). Conception and early pregnancy loss were compared with culture and Gram stain results. Statistical analyses included the Chi-square test, Fisher's exact test and the Mann–Whitney U-test.
Results: The overall live birth rate (LBR) was 30% (27/91), and the rate of early pregnancy loss was 34% (14/41). In women with bacterial vaginosis, intermediate flora and normal flora, the conception rates were 30% (3/10), 39% (12/31) and 52% (26/50), respectively (p = 0.06 for trend). Early pregnancy loss occurred in 33% (1/3), 42% (5/12) and 31% (8/26) of women, respectively (p = 0.06, comparing intermediate and normal flora). The vaginal log concentration of hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli was 7.3 ± 1.7 in women with a live birth (n = 27) and 4.9 ± 2.5 in those with early pregnancy loss (n = 14) (p = 0.1).
Conclusions: IVF patients with bacterial vaginosis and with a decreased vaginal log concentration of hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli may have decreased conception rates and increased rates of early pregnancy loss. A larger prospective treatment trial designed to evaluate the impact on IVF outcomes of optimizing the vaginal flora prior to IVF may be warranted.
PMCID: PMC1852261  PMID: 12839628
4.  Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Treatment Trial of Chlamydia trachomatis Endocervical Infections in Pregnant Women 
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if treatment of pregnant women with Chlamydia trachomatis infection would lower the incidence of preterm delivery and/or low birth weight.
Methods: Pregnant women between the 23rd and 29th weeks of gestation were randomized in double-blind fashion to receive either erythromycin 333 mg three times daily or an identical placebo. The trial continued until the end of the 35th week of gestation.
Results: When the results were examined without regard to study site, erythromycin had little impact on reducing low birth weight (8% vs. 11%, P = 0.4) or preterm delivery (13% vs. 15%, P = 0.7). At the sites with high persistence of C. trachomatis in the placebo-treated women, low birth weight infants occurred in 9 (8%) of 114 erythromycin-treated and 18 (17%) of 105 placebo-treated women (P = 0.04) and delivery <37 weeks occurred in 15 (13%) of 115 erythromycin-treated and 18 (17%) of 105 placebo-treated women (P = 0.4).
Conclusions: The results of this trial suggest that the risk of low birth weight can be decreased by giving erythromycin to some women with C. trachomatis. Due to the high clearance rate of C. trachomatis in the placebo group, these data do not provide unequivocal evidence that erythromycin use in all C. trachomatis-infected women prevents low birth weight.
PMCID: PMC2364533  PMID: 18476128
5.  Randomized Trial of Antibiotics in Addition to Tocolytic Therapy to Treat Preterm Labor 
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess whether antibiotic therapy plus tocolysis given to women in preterm labor would prolong pregnancy compared with tocolysis alone.
Methods: A randomized, double-blind trial of intravenous mezlocillin and oral erythromycin therapy vs. placebo was used in addition to tocolysis among women in preterm labor ≤34 weeks gestation with intact membranes. Amniocentesis was performed, and chorioamnionic membranes were examined histologically and cultured for microorganisms after delivery.
Results: Clinical characteristics including gestational age at enrollment, frequency of contractions, cervical Bishop's score, and white blood cell count on admission were similar in the 2 groups. Antibiotic therapy was well tolerated. No significant differences in the interval to delivery, birth weight, and neonatal outcomes were observed between the 2 groups. Women in the antibiotic group had a significantly lower incidence of postpartum infections compared with women in the placebo group. Patients with evidence of upper genital tract infection in either group had a significantly shorter interval to delivery, lower gestational age at delivery, lower mean birth weight, and increased neonatal hospitalization time.
Conclusions: Lack of an antibiotic effect on the gestational age at delivery may be due to the low prevalence of upper genital tract infection among unselected women in preterm labor, to advanced preterm labor unresponsive to antibiotic therapy, or to an inability of antibiotics given alone to inhibit the cytokine response. Further work is needed to identify markers of upper genital tract infection among women in preterm labor and to evaluate other potential therapeutic interventions.
PMCID: PMC2366143  PMID: 18472878

Results 1-5 (5)