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Am J Perinatol. 2013 Feb;30(2):131-41. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1333413. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

Recent developments and current issues in the epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of bacterial and fungal neonatal sepsis.

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Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Identifying neonates with sepsis is complicated by variability in clinical presentation. The incidence of early onset sepsis (EOS) resulting from invasive group B streptococcal (GBS) infections has been notably reduced by the widespread delivery of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis. Rates of EOS attributable to non-GBS etiologies have remained constant, and ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli has become more prevalent. Late-onset sepsis (LOS) attributable to gram-positive organisms including coagulase-negative Staphylococci and Staphylococcus aureus is associated with increased morbidity and mortality among premature infants. Invasive candidiasis is an emerging cause of LOS, especially among infants who receive broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents. Prophylactic fluconazole administration to very low-birth-weight (VLBW) neonates during the first 6 weeks of life prevents invasive candidiasis in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) with high rates of fungal infections. Targeted fluconazole prophylaxis may be beneficial in VLBW neonates who receive care in NICUs with lower rates of invasive fungal infections. Assessment of immune function, neutrophil markers, acute phase reactants, and utilization of sepsis screening scores may contribute to the management of sepsis. Maternal decolonization, antimicrobial stewardship, early enteral feeding, and optimal infection control practices are potential practical strategies for reducing the burden of neonatal sepsis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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