ANTIBIOTIC treatment for a common vaginal infection in early pregnancy could cut the rate of late miscarriage and premature birth by 40 per cent, say researchers from Northwick Park Hospital, Middlesex.

Their study involving 783 pregnant women revealed that 15 per cent were suffering from bacterial vaginosis, an infection which is often symptomless but which can be detected by a simple test. Women with the infection run five times the risk of late miscarriage and premature delivery, they report in the British Medical Journal.