Bacteria linked to EONS identified

Researchers have identified proteins associated with a bacterial infection which is linked to premature births.

Scientists at the Yale School of Medicine found the biomarkers which are associated with the infection early onset neonatal sepsis (EONS).

The study monitored proteins in the umbilical cord blood in 155 premature babies.

Using a technique called 2-D differential gel electrophoresis, they observed and mapped the biomarkers.

EONS is currently "extremely difficult to diagnose", with pregnant women given antibiotics before delivery which can mask the presence of EONS.

Catalin Buhimschi, assistant professor at Yale, said the biomarkers "have diagnostic value for infection and inflammation".

She added: "We have identified changes that occur in the physiology of the foetus that is exposed to infection and inflammation in the amniotic fluid."

The research could lead to earlier identification of EONS, so affected babies could receive antibiotics, she stated.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have found that children born over three months premature have an increased risk for scoring positive on the checklist for autism in toddlers.