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J Clin Neonatol. 2012 Apr;1(2):72-5. doi: 10.4103/2249-4847.96753.

Neonatal sepsis: high antibiotic resistance of the bacterial pathogens in a neonatal intensive care unit of a tertiary care hospital.

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Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Surat, Gujarat, India.



To study the bacterial pathogens causing neonatal sepsis and their sensitivity pattern so that guidelines can be prepared for empirical antibiotic therapy.


We conducted a prospective analysis of all the cases admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a tertiary care hospital and studied the culture and sensitivity pattern of organisms isolated. The neonates who presented with signs and symptoms of septicemia, with/without pneumonia and/or meningitis were studied and a detailed record of the maturity, age at onset, sex, birth weight (weight on admission for home deliveries), symptoms and signs along with the maternal risk factors was made. The cases with suspect sepsis were screened using various screening markers. Blood culture was done in all the cases, while cerebrospinal fluid was analysed only in those indicated. Sensitivity of the isolated organism was tested by Kirby Bauer disc diffusion techniques and various drug resistance mechanisms were studied.


Out of the 190 neonates (M:F=1.22:1) admitted to the NICU, 60 (31.57%) shows blood culture positive. Ninety-five percent cases were due to early onset septicemia. Thirty one neonates had Gram negative, twenty seven had Gram positive septicemia and two had candidial infection. Seventy percent Gram-positive isolates were resistant to penicillin. Ninety percent Gram negative isolates were resistant to gentamycin and ampicillin. Carbapenem resistance mechanisms such as ESBL.


There is an increasing trend of antibiotic resistance to the commonly used and available drugs. Continuous surveillance for antibiotic susceptibility should be done to look for resistance pattern.


Early onset septicemia; Kirby Bauer disc diffusion; neonatal sepsis; resistance mechanisms; surveillance

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