A VAGINAL infection called bacterial vaginosis (BV) could be a cause of late miscarriage and premature delivery, researchers from the Medical Research Council believe.

A team from the MRC's Clinical Research Centre in Middlesex screened almost 800 women for BV at the time they booked into an antenatal clinic. Just over one in 10 were found to be infected.

A strong link was found on follow-up between the presence of BV and the risk of late miscarriage or pre-term delivery, they say in General Practitioner.

The group is now screening a further 3,000 women; those infected will be given antibiotics to see if this reduces the number of miscarriages and early deliveries.