Etiology of early onset neonatal sepsis in neonatal intensive care unit – Mansoura, Egypt

INTRODUCTION: This study was conducted to find out the bacterial causes of early onset neonatal sepsis and their susceptibility pattern for different classes of antibiotics in neonates admitted to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Mansoura-Egypt.
METHODS:A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted. All admitted newborns to our study were infants at <72 hours of age with clinical features of sepsis or product of an in-house delivery at Mansoura University Hospital with risk factors for neonatal sepsis. Identification of Gram-negative isolates was confirmed by API 20E kits (bioMerieux). Antibiotic susceptibility was performed by Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. Bacteria resistant to ≥3 antimicrobial classes were counted as multidrug resistant.
RESULTS:One hundred eighty eight babies were admitted to our study. Positive blood culture was reported in 34.6% of newborn infants with prevalence of 4.02/1,000 live births. The most common isolated bacteria in early-onset neonatal sepsis were coagulase-negative staphylococci followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Serratia marcescens. The Gram-positive bacteria showed high resistance to ampicillin 93.9% while all the isolates were susceptible to vancomycin. The isolated Gram-negative bacteria were highly resistant to ampicillin [96.9%], amoxicillin-clavulanic acid [90.6%], cefotaxime [84.4%] and ceftazidime [84.4%]. Best sensitivity among all isolates was observed to imipenem. Multidrug resistance was observed among 45.5% of the Gram-positive and 68.8% of Gram-negative isolates.
CONCLUSION:Appropriate identification of the source of infection and initiation of an effective management can reduce both mortality and morbidity associated with neonatal sepsis. The challenge is to initiate immediate empirical antibiotic therapy according to a strictly implemented updated antibiotic policy based on an individualized community established antimicrobial sensitivity pattern of microorganisms causing early-onset neonatal sepsis.

*Corresponding Author: 

Wael A. Seliem, Pediatric Department - Faculty of Medicine - Mansoura University - Mansoura University Children Hospital, Mansoura, Egypt. E-mail: