Neonatology pp 1727-1771 | Cite as

Neonatal Bacterial and Fungal Infections

  • Mauro StronatiEmail author
  • Alessandro Borghesi
Reference work entry


Neonatal infection is the invasion of the tissue by an infectious organism during the neonatal age. This may be considered early-onset when occurring during the first 72 h of life and late-onset when occurring after the first 72 h of life. Reported rates of neonatal infections range from 6% to 33% and up to 40% in neonates born before 28 weeks’ gestational age or with birth weight <1,000 g. Septicemia accounts for 45–55% of all infections, followed by lower respiratory tract infections (16–30%) and urinary tract infections (8–18%). The most frequently isolated microorganisms are coagulase-negative Staphylococci, group B Streptococcus, Escherichia coli, other Enterobacteriaceae and Gram-negative microorganisms, and, among fungi, Candida albicans. Both early-onset and late-onset infections represent a major cause of mortality and morbidity in neonates. Prevention strategies for both early-onset and late-onset infection are available, including prevention of infection associated with premature rupture of membranes and preterm labor, prevention of neonatal group B streptococcal disease, and prevention of neonatal nosocomial infections.



American Academy of Pediatrics


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


Acute otitis media


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Colony-forming unit


Confidence interval


Coagulase-negative Staphylococci


C-reactive protein


Computerized tomography


Central venous catheter


Dimercaptosuccinic acid


Early-onset neonatal sepsis


Group B Streptococcus


Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor


Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee


Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis


Immune globulins




Intravenous immune globulins


Late-onset neonatal sepsis


Minimal inhibiting concentration


Magnetic resonance imaging


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Necrotizing enterocolitis


National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


Neonatal toxic shock syndrome-like exanthematous disease


Odds ratio


Polymerase chain reaction




Premature rupture of membranes


Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists


Ribosomal ribonucleic acid


Relative risk


Serum amyloid A


Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome


Toxic epidermal necrolysis


Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1




Urinary tract infection


Ventilator-associated pneumonia


Very low birth weight


Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus


World Health Organization


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neonatal Intensive Care UnitFondazione IRCCS Policlinico ‘San Matteo’PaviaItaly

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