Chorioamnionitis is usually caused by bacteria that inhabit the genital tract. Less frequently, it can result from pathogens that cross over from the maternal circulation to the amniotic sac. Rarely is it caused by the descent of pathogens from the abdominal cavity through the fallopian tubes. Commonly identified pathogens that contribute to chorioamnionitis are Escherichia coli, Streptococcus faecalis, Neisseria gonorrhea, group A and B streptococci, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Predisposing factors that contribute to chorioamnionitis include poor maternal nutritional status, history of drug abuse, history of multiple sexual partners, premature or prolonged rupture of membranes, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the placement of a cerclage (ligature around the cervix to treat cervical incompetence during pregnancy), chorionic villi sampling, intrauterine transfusion, amniocentesis, and repeated vaginal examinations during labor.

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