About this Research Topic
Research into the aetiology of preterm birth over the past decades has elucidated the major causes of preterm birth, including the key role played by intrauterine inflammation and infection in the majority of early preterm births. However, translation of this knowledge into strategies and interventions to prevent preterm birth or minimise its impact on birth outcomes has been slow and difficult to implement and evaluate. While the last few decades have seen considerable investment in neonatal research and clinical care which has resulted in marked improvements in survival, this focus has not been matched by similar progress in prevention of prematurity.
But times are now changing. ‘Green-shoots’ are now appearing in this field and we are on the cusp of being able to translate advances in aetiological knowledge into mechanism-based therapeutic strategies. In addition, new risk factors have been identified that open the door to public health initiatives for preterm birth prevention. In this Frontiers Research Topic we present a coherent and directed overview of current research progress in preterm birth prevention, with a special focusing on prevention of those deliveries associated with intrauterine infection and inflammation. A multidisciplinary approach will be taken, drawing on expertise from the areas of immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, epidemiology, toxicology, cell biology and genetics.
Our overall goal is to provide insight and clarity on those interventions that can be implemented immediately or are on the horizon, as well as highlighting areas where research needs to be directed in order to achieve the most benefits.
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