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J Hosp Infect. 2008 Oct;70(2):119-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2008.06.028. Epub 2008 Aug 23.

An outbreak of Serratia marcescens septicaemia in neonatal intensive care unit in Gaza City, Palestine.

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Laboratory Medicine Department, Al Azhar University, Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestine.


We performed a case-control study of Serratia marcescens incidence in the neonatal intensive care unit of a governmental Gaza Strip hospital from January to December 2005. S. marcescens was detected in the blood of 159 confirmed nosocomial cases of septicaemia, 70 (44%) neonates died due to S. marcescens infection and 89 recovered. The main clinical symptoms were hypothermia 38%; jaundice 42%; Apgar score 4 at 1 min in 29% of neonates; and Apgar score 5 at 5 min in 5%. Risk factors significantly associated with S. marcescens infection were birthweight <1,500 g (OR: 1.7; P=0.026); <37 weeks gestational age (OR: 2.0; P=0.002); and use of mechanical ventilation (OR: 2.3; P=0.001). Agar diffusion susceptibility testing indicated that S. marcescens was generally susceptible to imipenem, followed by ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin. We identified potential risk factors associated with development of neonatal sepsis and highlight the importance of appropriate infection control measures to prevent serious infection.

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