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J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 1999 Mar;32(1):26-32.

Staphylococcus capitis bacteremia of very low birth weight premature infants at neonatal intensive care units: clinical significance and antimicrobial susceptibility.

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Department of Pediatrics, National Cheng Kung University Medical College and Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.


Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are frequently isolated from blood cultures in critically ill neonates. However, Staphylococcus capitis is rarely reported as a pathogen in human beings. From January, 1995 to December, 1997 at a tertiary care neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a total of 147 (62%) CNS isolates were detected from 236 positive blood cultures, including 27 isolates of S. capitis. Among the S. capitis bacteremia, 17 isolates were judged to be infections as opposed to 10 of the noninfection cultures. The occurrence of S. capitis infection was correlated with long hospital stay (52 +/- 17.6 days vs. 28 +/- 18.5 days, p=0.003) and total parenteral nutrition administration (46 +/- 17.4 days vs. 22 +/- 19.1 days, p=0.006). Apnea, bradycardia, temperature instability and poor activity were the predominant clinical features. Among the 17 episodes of bacteremia, one patient had complicated septic meningitis. There is no statistical significance between S. capitis infection and the duration of a central venous catheter placement (37 +/- 17.5 days vs. 26 +/- 19.5 days, p=0.165). No catheter related infection was proven. Removal of a percutaneous central venous catheter routinely in patients with S. capitis bacteremia is not recommended. All the patients survived after antibiotic treatment. The prevalence rate of multiple resistant S. capitis was 94%. All isolates were resistant to oxacillin, erythromycin and clindamycin but susceptible to ampicillin/sulbactam, vancomycin and teicoplanin. Empiric therapy for S. capitis infection in NICU with ampicillin/sulbactam is therefore recommended. It is important to detect S. capitis which has a high degree of antibiotic resistance in order to treat the patient correctly. S. capitis should be included as etiology and the possibility of nosocomial outbreak in very low birth weight (VLBW) premature infants at NICU.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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