Rectovaginal colonization with pathogenic escherichia coli during pregnancy and neonatal outcomes

Tzu Hao Liu, Hsiao Ping Wang, Fu Nang Cho, Jiun Ling Wang, Chih Hsin Hung, Yee Hsuan Chiou, Yao Shen Chen, Susan Shin Jung Lee, Ming Fang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The role of pathogenic Escherichia coli colonization in asymptomatic pregnant women is not well understood. The purpose of this work was to determine the prevalence, antimicrobial susceptibility, and neonatal outcomes of pathogenic E. coli colonization in pregnant women. Patients and methods: A total of 137 women from southern Taiwan with singleton pregnancies were enrolled between March 2016 and June 2017. The women were prospec-tively screened for E. coli colonization in the rectovaginal region during prenatal examination. The exclusion criteria are twin pregnancy of the mother and major anomaly of the neonate. All E. coli isolates were identified as either pathogenic or commensal strains, and their susceptibility to various antimicrobials was investigated. Clinical data of the infants were retrieved from their medical records. Results: Results showed that 35.8% of asymptomatic pregnant women had pathogenic E. coli colonization in the rectovaginal region. Neonates born to such mothers showed significant morbidities, including hospitalization (OR= 3.74, 95% CI= 1.18~11.87), hyperbilirubinemia (OR= 2.81, 95% CI= 1.24~6.38), and gastrointestinal symptoms (OR= 5.53, 95% CI= 1.39~21.94). Maternal colonization with pathogenic E. coli at rectoanal site was a risk factor for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia after Benjamini–Hochberg (BH) adjustment (52% vs 24%, adjusted P= 0.048). Conclusion: The prevalence of pathogenic E. coli colonization in Taiwanese asymptomatic pregnant women was high, and the neonates born to colonized mothers exhibited potential neonatal morbidities. Larger studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3103-3112
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Drug Resistance
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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