The authors assess causal, cellular and inflammatory links between intraamniotic infection with Ureaplasma parvum or Mycoplasma hominis and preterm labor in a nonhuman primate model. Long-term catheterized rhesus monkeys received intraamniotic inoculations of clinical isolates of Ureaplasma parvum serovar 1, M hominis, media control or physiological saline. Genital mycoplasmas were quantified in amniotic fluid (AF) and documented in fetal tissues by culture and PCR. In association with elevated AF colony counts for U parvum or M hominis, there was a sequential upregulation of AF leukocytes, proinflammatory cytokines, prostaglandin E2 and F2a, metalloproteinase-9 and uterine activity ( P< .05). Fetal membranes and lung were uniformly positive for both microorganisms; fetal blood and cerebrospinal fluid cultures and PCR were more often positive for M hominis than U parvum. Histopathologic findings of chorioamnionitis, a systemic fetal inflammatory response and pneumonitis worsen with duration of in utero infection. U parvum or M hominis, as sole pathogens, elicit a robust proinflammatory response which contributes to preterm labor and fetal lung injury.