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Vaginal infections, a cause of serious morbidity
A Cochrane review concludes that asymptomatic screening for lower genital tract infection could prevent preterm birth (relative risk 0.55, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.75).1 Only one trial of moderate quality was suitable for inclusion.2 Three other trials were excluded on the basis that they were not true screening trials (the trials enrolled symptomatic as well as asymptomatic participants). The intervention of screening for vaginal Candida, Trichomonas vaginalis and bacterial vaginosis with a Gram stain at 15–20 gestational weeks in this Austrian study was considered to be cost-saving. This is not current practice in UK antenatal clinics, and implementing such a strategy would have implications for laboratory workload. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is contributing to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence public consultation on reducing preterm birth, announced in June 2015, …
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