ABSTRACT The study was carried out in the neonatal care units (NCU) of Basrah Maternity & Children Hospital from the 1st of May to 9th of September 2003. Eighty newborn infants having respiratory distress & one hundred normal newborn infants as control group were included in this study. Information including age, sex, gestational age, mode of delivery, birth weight and signs of respiratory distress were recorded for each neonate. Throat swabs were taken from the patients and the control group and cultured on special media for each baby included in the study. Among the neonates with respiratory distress, Ureaplasma urealyticum was isolated from twenty two males (40.7%) out of fifty four males and fourteen females (53.8%) out of twenty six females included in the study. Ureaplasma urealyticum was isolated in (46.6%) of newborn babies whom gestational age was less than 37 weeks and in (42.8%) of newborn babies whom gestational age was more than or equals to 37 weeks. The study also found that neonates with birth weight less than or equal to 1500grams are liable to infection with Ureaplasma urealyticum more than babies with birth weight more than 1500 grams and a high percentage of isolation (66.7%) was recorded in patients with signs of severe respiratory distress. It can be concluded from this study that U. urealyticum can be isolated more from neonates admitted to NCU because of respiratory distress than normal neonates particularly in the very low birth weight newborns, but the real role of this organism as an etiological cause of pneumonitis needs further studies.