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J Family Med Prim Care. 2017 Oct-Dec;6(4):735-738. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_66_17.

Bacteriological profile of neonatal sepsis in a secondary care hospital in rural Tamil Nadu, Southern India.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Christian Fellowship Hospital, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Pediatrics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Community Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.



Neonatal sepsis is a leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity in the world. The objective of the current study was to detect the common causative microorganisms of neonatal sepsis and their antimicrobial resistance patterns in a rural secondary hospital in Tamil Nadu, India.

Materials and Methods:

Neonates (0-28 days) admitted to this newborn care unit from October 2013 to September 2015, with a diagnosis of probable sepsis were studied. All the enrolled babies had blood cultures taken and were followed up till final outcome, which was discharge or death, irrespective of culture result. Univariate analysis was performed for factors associated with culture positivity, generating odds ratios, and confidence intervals.


Among the 107 babies with a diagnosis of probable sepsis, 28 (26.2%) had shown bacteria in culture. The majority (94.4%) were of early-onset sepsis. The predominant organisms were Staphylococcus aureus (10/28) and Klebsiella (6/28). 100% of Gram-negative bacilli and 90% of Staphylococcus were resistant to Ampicillin. Gentamicin resistance among Gram-negative bacilli and Staphylococcus was 52.9% and 20%, respectively, while third-generation cephalosporin resistance was 31.2% and 20%, respectively. Among the neonates diagnosed as probable sepsis, idiopathic prematurity (P = 0.007) was found to have a statistically significant association with culture-positive sepsis.


The culture positivity rate among the neonates with probable sepsis in the current study was 26%. An alarmingly high degree of antibiotic resistance observed calls for robust infection control practices and an urgent evaluation and development of individual and national antibiotic policies for neonatal sepsis.


Antibiotic policy; antimicrobial resistance; neonatal septicemia; prematurity

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