Clinical features of neonatal sepsis caused by resistant Gram-negative bacteria

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Clinical features and outcomes of neonatal sepsis caused by resistant Gram-negative bacteria are not well described in Jordan. The aim of the present study was therefore to describe microbiology and clinical features, laboratory findings and outcomes of early- and late-onset Gram-negative neonatal sepsis.


All patients with Gram-negative bacteremia between July 2003 and June 2005 were retrospectively included. Resistance profiles, clinical features and outcomes of early and late-onset neonatal sepsis were compared.


A total of 79 patients (after excluding all nine cases of Gram-positive bloodstream infection (BSI) were identified as having Gram-negative BSI (25 had early-onset and 54 had late-onset neonatal sepsis). Respiratory distress, metabolic acidosis and requirement of ventilation were found in 74.7%, 40.5%, and 58.2%, respectively. Hypotension was found in 22.9% of patients. Klebsiella pneumoniae was responsible for 43 cases (54.4.2%). Klebsiella pneumoniae resistance rates to ampicillin and ceftazidime were 100% and 50%, respectively. Mortality rate was 30.9%. Forty-eight percent of deaths occurred within 3 days of sepsis. Meningitis was diagnosed in five cases. Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and thrombocytopenia were seen in 28% and 24% of infants with early-onset sepsis, respectively, and in 79.6%, 59.3% of infants with late-onset sepsis respectively.


Both early- and late-onset neonatal sepsis are caused by highly resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Mortality of sepsis is high. Elevated CRP and thrombocytopenia is seen more commonly in late-onset neonatal sepsis.

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