Intra-amniotic infection or chorioamnionitis refers to either a bacterial or fungal infection involving the membranes or placenta. Involvement of the intra-uterine contents can occur most commonly as an ascending infection from the cervix or is spread to the placenta by the blood stream as in the case of Listeria. One further method of introducing microorganisms into the uterus is at the time of embryo transfer in patients being treated by artificial reproductive technology or IVF.  In this instance any bacteria or yeast which happen to be present in the endocervical canal can be innoculated into the uterus at the time of embryo transfer, where for the remainder of the pregnancy they can proliferate and produce a chorioamnionitis. This subsequently may cause preterm labour, preterm rupture of the membranes and early delivery with significant foetal morbidity. Patients undergoing IVF treatment are known to be a particularly high risk group for these complications.
Reference: Sfameni SF et al: Candida glabrata chorioamnionitis following in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 1997; 37:88.