Epidemiology and Etiology of Invasive Bacterial Infection in Infants ≤60 Days Old Treated in Emergency Departments

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Abstract

Objectives

To help guide empiric treatment of infants ≤60 days old with suspected invasive bacterial infection by describing pathogens and their antimicrobial susceptibilities.

Study design

Cross-sectional study of infants ≤60 days old with invasive bacterial infection (bacteremia and/or bacterial meningitis) evaluated in the emergency departments of 11 children's hospitals between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2016. Each site's microbiology laboratory database or electronic medical record system was queried to identify infants from whom a bacterial pathogen was isolated from either blood or cerebrospinal fluid. Medical records of these infants were reviewed to confirm the presence of a pathogen and to obtain demographic, clinical, and laboratory data.

Results

Of the 442 infants with invasive bacterial infection, 353 (79.9%) had bacteremia without meningitis, 64 (14.5%) had bacterial meningitis with bacteremia, and 25 (5.7%) had bacterial meningitis without bacteremia. The peak number of cases of invasive bacterial infection occurred in the second week of life; 364 (82.4%) infants were febrile. Group B streptococcus was the most common pathogen identified (36.7%), followed by Escherichia coli (30.8%), Staphylococcus aureus (9.7%), and Enterococcus spp (6.6%). Overall, 96.8% of pathogens were susceptible to ampicillin plus a third-generation cephalosporin, 96.0% to ampicillin plus gentamicin, and 89.2% to third-generation cephalosporins alone.

Conclusions

For most infants ≤60 days old evaluated in a pediatric emergency department for suspected invasive bacterial infection, the combination of ampicillin plus either gentamicin or a third-generation cephalosporin is an appropriate empiric antimicrobial treatment regimen. Of the pathogens isolated from infants with invasive bacterial infection, 11% were resistant to third-generation cephalosporins alone.

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