Action Medical Research

New test for women at risk of premature birth

The aim is to develop a new screening test for women to identify, in early pregnancy, those at increased risk of going into labour too soon. The hope is that this test will help save babies' lives and reduce the risk of babies who survive premature birth developing long-term disabilities.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 27 November 2018 to 12:00 PM, 4 December 2018

Registered Charity in England and Wales (208701)

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In the UK, more than 61,000 babies are born prematurely – before 37 weeks of pregnancy – each year. Sadly, more than 1,000 will die. Children who survive can experience lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, blindness and hearing loss. Although the causes of preterm birth are often not understood, one factor may be how a woman’s body deals with mild vaginal infections during pregnancy.


Dr Rachel Tribe at King’s College London aims to develop a new screening test to help identify pregnant women who are at increased risk of early delivery. The focus of the project is building a better understanding of how women's bodies fight mild vaginal infections during pregnancy - and then developing a test for use in early pregnancy. Dr Tribe hopes this will help save children’s lives and reduce the potentially tragic consequences of being born too soon.