Background. Increasing evidence suggests that silent infections play an important role in the pathogenesis of miscarriage during the first trimester of pregnancy. Implications and prevalence of infectious agents in the aetiology of early pregnancy loss is not yet well established. Aims/Objectives. In this study we will analyse chorionic villi derived from abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy (spontaneous abortion vs voluntary pregnancy interruption), in order to correlate the presence of infective viruses/bacteria and the incidence of miscarriage. The first objective of this project will be to find the viral DNA of HPV, BK and JC polyomaviruses and bacterial DNA of Chlamidia trachomatis, Ureaplasma parvum, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Mycoplasma hominis in the aborted tissues collected from spontaneous abortion, and to compare the prevalence of these DNAs to those derived from elective specimens. Since chorionic villi are composed from different mesenchymal cell types, the second objective of the project will be the identification of viral/bacterial infections in specific target cells of aborted tissues. Methods. Chorionic villi derived from aborted tissues will be collected from women with spontaneous abortion (study group) and women undergoing voluntary pregnancy interruption (control group). Viral and bacterial DNA and RNA levels will be investigated by Real Time PCR and RT-PCR, respectively. Positive specimens for viral or bacterial DNA will be analyzed by in situ PCR amplification in order to find the target cell of the infection. Expected results. On the basis of the scientific literature, we expect to find a correlation between the prevalence of viral and/or infections and the rate of spontaneous abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. These data will be of importance for the diagnosis and treatment of early spontaneous abortions.
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