Perinatal bacterial colonization and neonatal early-onset sepsis: A case-control study

Foo, S.X.Y., Lim, C.S.E., de la Puerta, R., Visvalingam, D., Yung, C.F., Yeo, K.T. | JNPM 2023;

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The utility of determining maternal-neonatal surface colonization as detected by standard microbiological cultures around the time of birth is unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between maternal and neonatal surface colonization at birth and neonatal early onset sepsis (EOS). OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) present in the brain with AD CSF biomarker levels. METHODS: We conducted a case-control study of newborns admitted to the neonatal department of a referral women’s and children’s hospital from 2009 to 2017. Cases were infants with blood-culture-confirmed EOS (<3 days of life), and controls were infants without EOS randomly chosen based on the cases’ date of birth. Maternal genitourinary and neonatal ear swab cultures were used to determine bacterial surface colonization status. RESULTS: Fifty-one infants were diagnosed with EOS during the study period, where Escherichia coli (45%), and Group B Streptococcus (23%) accounted for 68% of infecting organisms. Compared to infants without EOS, those infected were more likely to have surface colonization of the mothers (60% vs 40%, p = 0.048) and infants (90% vs 11%, p < 0.001). In univariate analysis, chorioamnionitis [7.1 (95% CI 2.9, 16.8)], small-for-gestational-age [OR 0.08 (95% CI 0.02, 0.4)], exposure to antibiotics around time of birth [2.3 (95% CI 1.0, 5.1)], maternal surface colonization [2.2 (95% CI 1.0, 4.9)] and neonatal surface colonization [23.5 (95% CI 7.3, 76.1)] were significantly associated with EOS. Adjusting for potential confounders, neonatal colonization remained significantly associated with neonatal EOS [AOR 15.0 (95% CI 3.5, 64.2), p < 0.001]. CONCLUSION: In our setting with predominant Gram-negative EOS, neonatal colonization but not maternal colonization was significantly associated with EOS in the newborn.

*Corresponding Author: 

Kee Thai Yeo, MD MS FAAP, Consultant, Department of Neonatology, KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, 100 Bukit Timah Road, 229899, Singapore. Tel.: +65 63941244; Fax: +65 62919079; E-mail: