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1.  Methicillin-Resistant and Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia and Meningitis in Preterm Infants 
Pediatrics  2012;129(4):e914-e922.
BACKGROUND:
Data are limited on the impact of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on morbidity and mortality among very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with S aureus (SA) bacteremia and/or meningitis (B/M).
METHODS:
Neonatal data for VLBW infants (birth weight 401–1500 g) born January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2008, who received care at centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network were collected prospectively. Early-onset (≤72 hours after birth) and late-onset (>72 hours) infections were defined by blood or cerebrospinal fluid cultures and antibiotic treatment of ≥5 days (or death <5 days with intent to treat). Outcomes were compared for infants with MRSA versus methicillin-susceptible S aureus (MSSA) B/M.
RESULTS:
Of 8444 infants who survived >3 days, 316 (3.7%) had SA B/M. Eighty-eight had MRSA (1% of all infants, 28% of infants with SA); 228 had MSSA (2.7% of all infants, 72% of infants with SA). No infant had both MRSA and MSSA B/M. Ninety-nine percent of MRSA infections were late-onset. The percent of infants with MRSA varied by center (P < .001) with 9 of 20 centers reporting no cases. Need for mechanical ventilation, diagnosis of respiratory distress syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis, and other morbidities did not differ between infants with MRSA and MSSA. Mortality was high with both MRSA (23 of 88, 26%) and MSSA (55 of 228, 24%).
CONCLUSIONS:
Few VLBW infants had SA B/M. The 1% with MRSA had morbidity and mortality rates similar to infants with MSSA. Practices should provide equal focus on prevention and management of both MRSA and MSSA infections among VLBW infants.
doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0966
PMCID: PMC3313632  PMID: 22412036
Staphylococcus aureus; methicillin resistant; infant; newborn
2.  Executive Summary of the Workshop on Infection in the High Risk Infant 
For newborn infants in intensive care units, the morbidity and mortality from infection continues to be a major burden despite advances in neonatal care. Infants are at risk for early onset, late onset, as well as hospital acquired infections. Research studies are needed to optimize timely diagnosis and treatment, and develop patient-specific and system-wide strategies to prevent perinatal and neonatal infections. To address the knowledge gaps that preclude optimal, evidence-based care in this critical field, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) organized a workshop in August 2008. In this paper we provide a summary of the discussions, focusing on major knowledge gaps, and prioritized suggestions for research in this area.
doi:10.1038/jp.2009.199
PMCID: PMC3038782  PMID: 20072133
infant; infection; newborn; sepsis
3.  Neonatal Outcomes of Extremely Preterm Infants From the NICHD Neonatal Research Network 
Pediatrics  2010;126(3):443-456.
OBJECTIVE
This report presents data from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network on care of and morbidity and mortality rates for very low birth weight infants, according to gestational age (GA).
METHODS
Perinatal/neonatal data were collected for 9575 infants of extremely low GA (22–28 weeks) and very low birth weight (401–1500 g) who were born at network centers between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2007.
RESULTS
Rates of survival to discharge increased with increasing GA (6% at 22 weeks and 92% at 28 weeks); 1060 infants died at ≤ 12 hours, with most early deaths occurring at 22 and 23 weeks (85% and 43%, respectively). Rates of prenatal steroid use (13% and 53%, respectively), cesarean section (7% and 24%, respectively), and delivery room intubation (19% and 68%, respectively) increased markedly between 22 and 23 weeks. Infants at the lowest GAs were at greatest risk for morbidities. Overall, 93% had respiratory distress syndrome, 46% patent ductus arteriosus, 16% severe intraventricular hemorrhage, 11% necrotizing enterocolitis, and 36% late-onset sepsis. The new severity-based definition of bronchopulmonary dysplasia classified more infants as having bronchopulmonary dysplasia than did the traditional definition of supplemental oxygen use at 36 weeks (68%, compared with 42%). More than one-half of infants with extremely low GAs had undetermined retinopathy status at the time of discharge. Center differences in management and outcomes were identified.
CONCLUSION
Although the majority of infants with GAs of ≥24 weeks survive, high rates of morbidity among survivors continue to be observed.
doi:10.1542/peds.2009-2959
PMCID: PMC2982806  PMID: 20732945
extremely low gestation; very low birth weight; morbidity; death
4.  Prediction of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia by Postnatal Age in Extremely Premature Infants 
Rationale: Benefits of identifying risk factors for bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infants include providing prognostic information, identifying infants likely to benefit from preventive strategies, and stratifying infants for clinical trial enrollment.
Objectives: To identify risk factors for bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and the competing outcome of death, by postnatal day; to identify which risk factors improve prediction; and to develop a Web-based estimator using readily available clinical information to predict risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia or death.
Methods: We assessed infants of 23–30 weeks' gestation born in 17 centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network and enrolled in the Neonatal Research Network Benchmarking Trial from 2000–2004.
Measurements and Main Results: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia was defined as a categorical variable (none, mild, moderate, or severe). We developed and validated models for bronchopulmonary dysplasia risk at six postnatal ages using gestational age, birth weight, race and ethnicity, sex, respiratory support, and FiO2, and examined the models using a C statistic (area under the curve). A total of 3,636 infants were eligible for this study. Prediction improved with advancing postnatal age, increasing from a C statistic of 0.793 on Day 1 to a maximum of 0.854 on Day 28. On Postnatal Days 1 and 3, gestational age best improved outcome prediction; on Postnatal Days 7, 14, 21, and 28, type of respiratory support did so. A Web-based model providing predicted estimates for bronchopulmonary dysplasia by postnatal day is available at https://neonatal.rti.org.
Conclusions: The probability of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely premature infants can be determined accurately using a limited amount of readily available clinical information.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201101-0055OC
PMCID: PMC3136997  PMID: 21471086
bronchopulmonary dysplasia; prematurity; low-birth-weight infant
5.  Approach to Infants Born at 22 to 24 Weeks’ Gestation: Relationship to Outcomes of More-Mature Infants 
Pediatrics  2012;129(6):e1508-e1516.
OBJECTIVE:
We sought to determine if a center’s approach to care of premature infants at the youngest gestational ages (22–24 weeks’ gestation) is associated with clinical outcomes among infants of older gestational ages (25–27 weeks’ gestation).
METHODS:
Inborn infants of 401 to 1000 g birth weight and 22 0/7 to 27 6/7 weeks’ gestation at birth from 2002 to 2008 were enrolled into a prospectively collected database at 20 centers participating in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Markers of an aggressive approach to care for 22- to 24-week infants included use of antenatal corticosteroids, cesarean delivery, and resuscitation. The primary outcome was death before postnatal day 120 for infants of 25 to 27 weeks’ gestation. Secondary outcomes were the combined outcomes of death or a number of morbidities associated with prematurity.
RESULTS:
Our study included 3631 infants 22 to 24 weeks’ gestation and 5227 infants 25 to 27 weeks’ gestation. Among the 22- to 24-week infants, use of antenatal corticosteroids ranged from 28% to 100%, cesarean delivery from 13% to 65%, and resuscitation from 30% to 100% by center. Centers with higher rates of antenatal corticosteroid use in 22- to 24-week infants had reduced rates of death, death or retinopathy of prematurity, death or late-onset sepsis, death or necrotizing enterocolitis, and death or neurodevelopmental impairment in 25- to 27-week infants.
CONCLUSIONS:
This study suggests that physicians’ willingness to provide care to extremely low gestation infants as measured by frequency of use of antenatal corticosteroids is associated with improved outcomes for more-mature infants.
doi:10.1542/peds.2011-2216
PMCID: PMC3362905  PMID: 22641761
low-birth weight infant; NICUs; treatment; patient outcome assessment
6.  Vitamin A Supplementation in Extremely Low- Birth-Weight Infants: Subgroup Analysis in Small-for-Gestational-Age Infants 
American journal of perinatology  2013;30(9):771-780.
Objective
Preterm infants with intrauterine growth restriction are at increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). A randomized clinical trial by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network demonstrated that vitamin A supplementation in extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW) preterm infants requiring early respiratory support decreased the risk of developing BPD.
Study Design
A subgroup analysis of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants from the original NICHD trial was performed to test the hypothesis that in infants requiring early respiratory support, vitamin A supplementation decreases the relative risk of BPD or death in premature SGA infants to a greater extent than in gestational age–equivalent vitamin A–treated appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) infants.
Results
Although vitamin A supplementation significantly increased serum retinol concentrations in AGA ELBW infants (median [5th percentile, 95th percentile]: 16.3 [−7.0, 68.8] versus 2.4 [−13.9, 55.1]; p < 0.001), no increases were noted in SGA ELBW infants.
Conclusions
Given the limited power of this analysis due to a low number of SGA infants, these data did not provide evidence to support the hypothesis that vitamin A supplementation in preterm SGA infants requiring early respiratory support decreases the relative risk of BPD or death as compared with preterm AGA infants.
doi:10.1055/s-0032-1333410
PMCID: PMC3923571  PMID: 23329565
vitamin A; IUGR–intrauterine growth restriction; BPD–bronchopulmonary dysplasia; SGA–small for gestational age; AGA–appropriate for gestational age
7.  Intercenter Differences in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia or Death Among Very Low Birth Weight Infants 
Pediatrics  2010;127(1):e106-e116.
OBJECTIVES:
To determine (1) the magnitude of clustering of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (36 weeks) or death (the outcome) across centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development National Research Network, (2) the infant-level variables associated with the outcome and estimate their clustering, and (3) the center-specific practices associated with the differences and build predictive models.
METHODS:
Data on neonates with a birth weight of <1250 g from the cluster-randomized benchmarking trial were used to determine the magnitude of clustering of the outcome according to alternating logistic regression by using pairwise odds ratio and predictive modeling. Clinical variables associated with the outcome were identified by using multivariate analysis. The magnitude of clustering was then evaluated after correction for infant-level variables. Predictive models were developed by using center-specific and infant-level variables for data from 2001 2004 and projected to 2006.
RESULTS:
In 2001–2004, clustering of bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death was significant (pairwise odds ratio: 1.3; P < .001) and increased in 2006 (pairwise odds ratio: 1.6; overall incidence: 52%; range across centers: 32%–74%); center rates were relatively stable over time. Variables that varied according to center and were associated with increased risk of outcome included lower body temperature at NICU admission, use of prophylactic indomethacin, specific drug therapy on day 1, and lack of endotracheal intubation. Center differences remained significant even after correction for clustered variables.
CONCLUSION:
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia/death rates demonstrated moderate clustering according to center. Clinical variables associated with the outcome were also clustered. Center differences after correction of clustered variables indicate presence of as-yet unmeasured center variables.
doi:10.1542/peds.2010-0648
PMCID: PMC3010091  PMID: 21149431
logistic models; infant; premature; predictive value of tests; clustering
8.  Early-Childhood Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Are Not Improving for Infants Born at <25 Weeks' Gestational Age 
Pediatrics  2011;127(1):62-70.
OBJECTIVE:
We compared neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18 to 22 months' corrected age of infants born with extremely low birth weight at an estimated gestational age of <25 weeks during 2 periods: 1999–2001 (epoch 1) and 2002–2004 (epoch 2).
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
We conducted a multicenter, retrospective analysis of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Perinatal and neonatal variables and outcomes were compared between epochs. Neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18 to 22 months' corrected age were evaluated with neurologic exams and Bayley Scales of Infant Development II. Logistic regression analyses determined the independent risk of epoch for adverse outcomes.
RESULTS:
Infant survival was similar between epochs (epoch 1, 35.4%, vs epoch 2, 32.3%; P = .09). A total of 411 of 452 surviving infants in epoch 1 and 405 of 438 surviving infants in epoch 2 were evaluated at 18 to 22 months' corrected age. Cesarean delivery (P = .03), surgery for patent ductus arteriosus (P = .004), and late sepsis (P = .01) were more common in epoch 2, but postnatal steroid use was dramatically reduced (63.5% vs 32.8%; P < .0001). Adverse outcomes at 18 to 22 months' corrected age were common in both epochs. Moderate-to-severe cerebral palsy was diagnosed in 11.1% of surviving infants in epoch 1 and 14.9% in epoch 2 (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 1.52 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.86–2.71]; P = .15), the Mental Developmental Index was <70 in 44.9% in epoch 1 and 51% in epoch 2 (OR: 1.30 [95% CI: 0.91–1.87]; P = .15), and neurodevelopmental impairment was diagnosed in 50.1% of surviving infants in epoch 1 and 58.7% in epoch 2 (OR: 1.4 [95% CI: 0.98–2.04]; P = .07).
CONCLUSIONS:
Early-childhood outcomes for infants born at <25 weeks' estimated gestational age were unchanged between the 2 periods.
doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1150
PMCID: PMC3375467  PMID: 21187312
extremely preterm; neurodevelopmental; outcome; cerebral palsy; Bayley Scales of Infant Development II
9.  Identification of Extremely Premature Infants at High Risk of Rehospitalization 
Pediatrics  2011;128(5):e1216-e1225.
OBJECTIVE:
Extremely low birth weight infants often require rehospitalization during infancy. Our objective was to identify at the time of discharge which extremely low birth weight infants are at higher risk for rehospitalization.
METHODS:
Data from extremely low birth weight infants in Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network centers from 2002–2005 were analyzed. The primary outcome was rehospitalization by the 18- to 22-month follow-up, and secondary outcome was rehospitalization for respiratory causes in the first year. Using variables and odds ratios identified by stepwise logistic regression, scoring systems were developed with scores proportional to odds ratios. Classification and regression-tree analysis was performed by recursive partitioning and automatic selection of optimal cutoff points of variables.
RESULTS:
A total of 3787 infants were evaluated (mean ± SD birth weight: 787 ± 136 g; gestational age: 26 ± 2 weeks; 48% male, 42% black). Forty-five percent of the infants were rehospitalized by 18 to 22 months; 14.7% were rehospitalized for respiratory causes in the first year. Both regression models (area under the curve: 0.63) and classification and regression-tree models (mean misclassification rate: 40%–42%) were moderately accurate. Predictors for the primary outcome by regression were shunt surgery for hydrocephalus, hospital stay of >120 days for pulmonary reasons, necrotizing enterocolitis stage II or higher or spontaneous gastrointestinal perforation, higher fraction of inspired oxygen at 36 weeks, and male gender. By classification and regression-tree analysis, infants with hospital stays of >120 days for pulmonary reasons had a 66% rehospitalization rate compared with 42% without such a stay.
CONCLUSIONS:
The scoring systems and classification and regression-tree analysis models identified infants at higher risk of rehospitalization and might assist planning for care after discharge.
doi:10.1542/peds.2011-1142
PMCID: PMC3208965  PMID: 22007016
logistic models; infant; premature; predictive value of tests
10.  Validation of the Functional Status II questionnaire in the assessment of extremely-low-birthweight infants 
AIM
The increased survival of infants born at extremely low birthweight (ELBW) has been associated with significant morbidity, including higher rates of neurodevelopmental disability. However, formalized testing to evaluate these problems is both time-consuming and costly. The revised Functional Status questionnaire (FS-II) was designed to assess caregivers’ perceptions of the functional status of children with chronic diseases.
METHOD
We evaluated the reliability and validity of the FS-II for ELBW infants at 18 to 22 months corrected age using data from the US Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network (NRN). Exploratory factor analyses were conducted using data from the network’s first follow-up study of 1080 children born in 1993 to 1994 (508 males, 572 females [53%]), and results were confirmed using data from the next network follow-up of 4022 children born in 1995 to 2000 (1864 males, 2158 females [54%]).
RESULTS
Results suggest that a two-factor solution comprising measures of general health and independence is most appropriate for ELBW infants. These factors differed from those found among chronically ill children, and new, more appropriate scales are presented for screening ELBW survivors. Both scales demonstrated good internal consistency: Cronbach’s α=0.87 for general health and α=0.75 for independence. Construct validity of the scales was assessed by comparing mean scores on the scales according to scores on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, second edition (BSID-II), and medical conditions.
INTERPRETATION
As hypothesized, infants with greater functional impairments according to their BSID-II scores or medical conditions had lower scores on the general health and independence scales, supporting the validity of the scales.
doi:10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03318.x
PMCID: PMC3031102  PMID: 19459909
11.  Risk Factors for Post-NICU Discharge Mortality Among Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants 
The Journal of Pediatrics  2012;161(1):70-74.e2.
Objective
To evaluate maternal and neonatal risk factors associated with post-neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) discharge mortality among ELBW infants.
Study design
This is a retrospective analysis of extremely low birth weight (<1,000 g) and <27 weeks' gestational age infants born in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network sites from January 2000 to June 2007. Infants were tracked until death or 18–22 months corrected age. Infants who died between NICU discharge and the 18–22 month follow-up visit were classified as post-NICU discharge mortality. Association of maternal and infant risk factors with post-NICU discharge mortality was determined using logistic regression analysis. A prediction model with six significant predictors was developed and validated.
Results
5,364 infants survived to NICU discharge. 557 (10%) infants were lost to follow-up, and 107 infants died following NICU discharge. Post-NICU discharge mortality rate was 22.3 per 1000 ELBW infants. In the prediction model, African-American race, unknown maternal health insurance, and hospital stay ≥120 days significantly increased risk, and maternal exposure to intra-partum antibiotics was associated with decreased risk of post-NICU discharge mortality.
Conclusion
We identified African-American race, unknown medical insurance and prolonged NICU stay as risk factors associated with post-NICU discharge mortality among ELBW infants.
doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.12.038
PMCID: PMC3366175  PMID: 22325187
extremely preterm infants; discharge; mortality; predictive model
12.  Timing of Elective Repeat Cesarean Delivery at Term and Neonatal Outcomes 
The New England journal of medicine  2009;360(2):111-120.
BACKGROUND
Because of increased rates of respiratory complications, elective cesarean delivery is discouraged before 39 weeks of gestation unless there is evidence of fetal lung maturity. We assessed associations between elective cesarean delivery at term (37 weeks of gestation or longer) but before 39 weeks of gestation and neonatal outcomes.
METHODS
We studied a cohort of consecutive patients undergoing repeat cesarean sections performed at 19 centers of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal–Fetal Medicine Units Network from 1999 through 2002. Women with viable singleton pregnancies delivered electively (i.e., before the onset of labor and without any recognized indications for delivery before 39 weeks of gestation) were included. The primary outcome was the composite of neonatal death and any of several adverse events, including respiratory complications, treated hypoglycemia, newborn sepsis, and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (ICU).
RESULTS
Of 24,077 repeat cesarean deliveries at term, 13,258 were performed electively; of these, 35.8% were performed before 39 completed weeks of gestation (6.3% at 37 weeks and 29.5% at 38 weeks) and 49.1% at 39 weeks of gestation. One neonatal death occurred. As compared with births at 39 weeks, births at 37 weeks and at 38 weeks were associated with an increased risk of the primary outcome (adjusted odds ratio for births at 37 weeks, 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7 to 2.5; adjusted odds ratio for births at 38 weeks, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.3 to 1.7; P for trend <0.001). The rates of adverse respiratory outcomes, mechanical ventilation, newborn sepsis, hypoglycemia, admission to the neonatal ICU, and hospitalization for 5 days or more were increased by a factor of 1.8 to 4.2 for births at 37 weeks and 1.3 to 2.1 for births at 38 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS
Elective repeat cesarean delivery before 39 weeks of gestation is common and is associated with respiratory and other adverse neonatal outcomes.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0803267
PMCID: PMC2811696  PMID: 19129525
13.  Neonatal sepsis 
Virulence  2013;5(1):170-178.
Neonatal sepsis continues to be a common and significant health care burden, especially in very-low-birth-weight infants (VLBW <1500 g). Though intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis has decreased the incidence of early-onset group B streptococcal infection dramatically, it still remains a major cause of neonatal sepsis. Moreover, some studies among VLBW preterm infants have shown an increase in early-onset sepsis caused by Escherichia coli. As the signs and symptoms of neonatal sepsis are nonspecific, early diagnosis and prompt treatment remains a challenge. There have been a myriad of studies on various diagnostic markers like hematological indices, acute phase reactants, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, cytokines, and cell surface markers among others. Nonetheless, further research is needed to identify a biomarker with high diagnostic accuracy and validity. Some of the newer markers like inter α inhibitor proteins have shown promising results thereby potentially aiding in early detection of neonates with sepsis. In order to decrease the widespread, prolonged use of unnecessary antibiotics and improve the outcome of the infants with sepsis, reliable identification of sepsis at an earlier stage is paramount.
doi:10.4161/viru.26906
PMCID: PMC3916371  PMID: 24185532
neonatal sepsis; epidemiology; microbiology; biomarkers; algorithms; newer tests; screening; group B streptococcus; antibiotic prophylaxis
14.  Institutional prevention policies and rates of Group B Streptococcus infection among HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants in Latin America 
Objective
To describe Group B Streptococcus (GBS) prevention policies at 12 Latin American sites participating in the NICHD (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) International Site Development Initiative (NISDI) Longitudinal Study in Latin American Countries (LILAC) and to determine rates of rectovaginal colonization and GBS-related disease among HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants.
Methods
Site surveys were used to assess prevention policies and practices administered cross-sectionally during 2010. Data collected in NISDI from 2008 to 2010 regarding HIV-infected pregnant women were used to determine rates of colonization and GBS-related disease.
Results
Of the 9 sites with a GBS prevention policy, 7 performed routine rectovaginal screening for GBS. Of the 401 women included in the NISDI study, 56.9% were at sites that screened. The GBS colonization rate was 8.3% (19/228 women; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.1%–12.7%). Disease related to GBS occurred in 0.5% of the participants (2/401 women; 95% CI, 0.1%–1.8%); however, no GBS-related disease was reported among the 398 infants (95% CI, 0.0%–0.9%).
Conclusion
Improved efforts to implement prevention policies and continued surveillance for GBS are needed to understand the impact of GBS among HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants in Latin America.
doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.08.017
PMCID: PMC3553316  PMID: 23260994
Group B Streptococcus; Infection rates; Institutional policy; Maternal HIV; Pregnancy
15.  Fatal late onset group B streptococcal meningitis following maternal postpartum sepsis 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2003;8(7):439-441.
Although maternal screening and the administration of prophylactic intrapartum antibiotics have decreased the incidence of early onset group B streptococcal (GBS) disease in neonates, there is still significant morbidity and mortality as a result of neonatal GBS disease.
Maternal GBS infections are not uncommon, but with appropriate therapy there is almost a uniformly good outcome. Little is written about the appropriate management of well infants born to mothers with postpartum GBS sepsis.
The question of whether well infants born to mothers with GBS puerperal sepsis should be treated empirically with antibiotics and the lack of literature concerning this issue became apparent when an untreated term infant died of late onset GBS meningitis following maternal puerperal GBS sepsis. We describe this event in the following case presentation.
With the current paucity of literature regarding the management of well infants born to mothers with postpartum GBS sepsis, it seems prudent to treat such infants empirically with antibiotics (following a full septic work-up) until this matter has been investigated further.
PMCID: PMC2791654  PMID: 20019951
Group B streptococcus; Postpartum sepsis
16.  Neonatal infections: group B streptococcus 
Clinical Evidence  2008;2008:0323.
Introduction
One in three women carry group B streptococci vaginally, which can infect the amniotic fluid even if the membranes are intact, or can infect the baby during delivery, causing sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis. Very-low-birthweight infants are at much higher risk of infection or mortality, with up to 3% infected, and mortality rates of up to 30% even with immediate antibiotic treatment. Late-onset group B streptococcal infection begins after 7-9 days, and usually causes fever or meningitis, but is less often fatal compared with early infection.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of prophylactic treatment of asymptomatic neonates less than 7 days old with known risk factors for group B streptococcal infection? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to March 2007 (BMJ Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found twelve systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: different antibiotics, monitoring and selective treatment, and routine antibiotic prophylaxis.
Key Points
Early-onset neonatal sepsis, typically caused by group B streptococcal infection, usually begins within 24 hours of birth, affects up to 8 infants per 1000 live births, and leads to death if untreated. One in three women carry group B streptococci vaginally, which can infect the amniotic fluid even if the membranes are intact, or infect the baby during delivery, causing sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis.Very low-birthweight infants are at much higher risk of infection or mortality, with up to 3% infected, and mortality rates of up to 30%, even with immediate antibiotic treatment.Late-onset group B streptococcal infection begins after 7-9 days and usually causes fever or meningitis, but is less often fatal compared with early infection.We don't know which antibiotic regimen is most effective at preventing group B streptococcal infection in high-risk neonates. Routine antibiotic prophylaxis given to low-birthweight babies after birth does not seem to be beneficial in reducing neonatal infection or mortality compared with monitoring and selective antibiotics.Increasing peripartum antibiotic prophylaxis is associated with a shift in pathogens causing neonatal sepsis, with Escherichia coli becoming a more prevalent cause.
PMCID: PMC2907963  PMID: 19450341
17.  Neonatal infections: group B streptococcus 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:0323.
Introduction
One in four women carry group B streptococci vaginally, which can infect the amniotic fluid even if the membranes are intact, or can infect the baby during delivery, causing sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis. Very-low-birthweight infants are at much higher risk of infection or mortality, with up to 3% infected, and mortality rates of up to 30% even with immediate antibiotic treatment. Late-onset group B streptococcal infection begins after 7 to 9 days, and usually causes fever or meningitis, but is less often fatal compared with early infection.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of prophylactic treatment of asymptomatic neonates less than 7 days old with known risk factors for group B streptococcal infection? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to April 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 12 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: different antibiotics, monitoring and selective treatment, and routine antibiotic prophylaxis.
Key Points
Early-onset neonatal sepsis, typically caused by group B streptococcal infection, usually begins within 24 hours of birth, affects up to 2 infants per 1000 live births, and leads to death if untreated. One in four women carry group B streptococci vaginally, which can infect the amniotic fluid even if the membranes are intact, or infect the baby during delivery, causing sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis.Very low-birthweight infants are at much higher risk of infection or mortality, with up to 3% infected, and mortality rates of up to 30%, even with immediate antibiotic treatment.Late-onset group B streptococcal infection begins after 7 to 9 days and usually causes fever or meningitis, but is less often fatal compared with early infection.
Routine antibiotic prophylaxis, either given to asymptomatic infants born to mothers with risk factors for neonatal infection or given to low-birthweight babies after birth, does not seem to be beneficial in reducing neonatal infection or mortality compared with close monitoring and selective antibiotics. We don't know which antibiotic regimen is most effective at preventing group B streptococcal infection in high-risk neonates.
Increasing peripartum antibiotic prophylaxis may be associated with a shift in the pathogens causing neonatal sepsis, with Escherichia coli becoming a more prevalent cause.
PMCID: PMC3217750  PMID: 21418675
18.  Early onset neonatal meningitis in Australia and New Zealand, 1992–2002 
Objectives: To study the epidemiology of early onset neonatal bacterial meningitis (EONBM) in Australasia.
Design: Prospective surveillance study, 1992–2002, in 20 neonatal units in Australia and New Zealand. EONBM was defined as meningitis occurring within 48 hours of delivery.
Results: There were 852 babies with early onset sepsis, of whom 78 (9.2%) had EONBM. The incidence of early onset group B streptococcal meningitis fell significantly from a peak of 0.24/1000 live births in 1993 to 0.03/1000 in 2002 (p trend = 0.002). There was no significant change over time in the incidence of Escherichia coli meningitis. The rate of EONBM in very low birthweight babies was 1.09/1000 compared with the rate in all infants of 0.11/1000. The overall rate of EONBM was 0.41/1000 in 1992 and 0.06 in 2001, but this trend was not significant (p trend = 0.07). Case-fatality rates for EONBM did not change significantly with time. Birth weight <1500 g (odds ratio (OR) 7.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 4.8 to 10.9)) and Gram negative bacillary meningitis (OR 3.3 (95% CI 2.2 to 4.9)) were significant risk factors for mortality. Sixty two percent of the 129 babies who died from early onset sepsis or suspected sepsis did not have a lumbar puncture performed.
Conclusion: The incidence of early onset group B streptococcal meningitis has fallen, probably because of maternal intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis, without a corresponding change in E coli meningitis. Gram negative bacillary meningitis still carries a worse prognosis than meningitis with a Gram positive organism.
doi:10.1136/adc.2004.066134
PMCID: PMC1721922  PMID: 15878934
19.  Comparison of Transverse and Vertical Skin Incision for Emergency Cesarean Delivery 
Obstetrics and gynecology  2010;115(6):1134-1140.
OBJECTIVE
To compare incision-to-delivery intervals and related maternal and neonatal outcomes by skin incision in primary and repeat emergent cesarean deliveries.
METHODS
From 1999 to 2000, a prospective cohort study of all cesarean deliveries was conducted at 13 hospitals comprising the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Maternal–Fetal Medicine Units Network. This secondary analysis was limited to emergent procedures, defined as those performed for cord prolapse, abruption, placenta previa with hemorrhage, nonreassuring fetal heart rate tracing, or uterine rupture. Incision-to-delivery intervals, incision-to-closure intervals, and maternal outcomes were compared by skin-incision type (transverse compared with vertical) after stratifying for primary compared with repeat singleton cesarean delivery. Neonatal outcomes were compared by skin-incision type.
RESULTS
Of the 37,112 live singleton cesarean deliveries, 3,525 (9.5%) were performed for emergent indications of which 2,498 (70.9%) were performed by transverse and the remaining 1,027 (29.1%) by vertical incision. Vertical skin incision shortened median incision-to-delivery intervals by 1 minute (3 compared with 4 minutes, P<.001) in primary and 2 minutes (3 compared with 5 minutes, P<.001) in repeat cesarean deliveries. Total median operative time was longer after vertical skin incision by 3 minutes in primary (46 compared with 43 minutes, P<.001) and 4 minutes in repeat cesarean deliveries (56 compared with 52 minutes, P<.001). Neonates delivered through a vertical incision were more likely to have an umbilical artery pH of less than 7.0 (10% compared with 7%, P=.02), to be intubated in the delivery room (17% compared with 13%, P=.001), or to be diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (3% compared with 1%, P<.001).
CONCLUSION
In emergency cesarean deliveries, neonatal delivery occurred more quickly after a vertical skin incision, but this was not associated with improved neonatal outcomes.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
II
doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181df937f
PMCID: PMC3228350  PMID: 20502282
20.  Risk factors for early onset neonatal group B streptococcal sepsis: case-control study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2002;325(7359):308.
Objectives
To quantify risk factors for and the prevalence of early onset group B streptococcal sepsis in neonates in a geographically defined population.
Design
Cases were collected prospectively for two years from April 1998 and compared with four controls each, matched for time and place of delivery.
Setting
The former Northern health region of the United Kingdom.
Participants
Infants infected with group B streptococcus in the first week of life.
Results
The prevalence of early onset group B streptococcal sepsis was 0.57 per 1000 live births. Premature infants comprised 38% of all cases and 83% of the deaths. Prematurity (odds ratio 10.4, 95% confidence interval 3.9 to 27.6), rupture of the membranes more than 18 hours before delivery (25.8, 10.2 to 64.8), rupture of the membranes before the onset of labour (11.1, 4.8 to 25.9), and intrapartum fever (10.0, 2.4 to 40.8) were significant risk factors for infection. Had the interim recommendations on best practice issued by the Group B Streptococcus Working Group of the Public Health Laboratory Service been uniformly applied to the fetuses alive at the onset of labour, 29 of 37 (78%) might have been given antibiotic prophylaxis during labour. At least 23 of these 29 (79%) could have had antibiotics for four hours or more before delivery. To achieve this, 16% of all women would have been given antibiotics during labour.
Conclusions
Early onset group B streptococcal sepsis remains an important problem in the United Kingdom. Prevention based on risk factors might reduce the prevalence at the cost of treating many women with risk factors. Using rupture of the membranes before the onset of labour as a risk factor might be expected to improve the success of guidelines for prophylaxis.
What is already known on this topicGroup B streptococcal infection is the leading cause of neonatal sepsis in the United Kingdom and an important, yet potentially preventable, cause of deathThe prevalence of early onset group B streptococcal sepsis in the United Kingdom is not well definedData from the United States and Australia show that the prevalence may be reduced drastically by using selective antibiotic prophylaxis during labourWhat this study addsOdds ratios for established risk factors, calculated for a British population, might aid the development of prophylactic guidelinesRupture of the membranes before the onset of labour should be considered as an important risk factor and might identify potential cases at an earlier stageCurrent prophylactic guidelines might prevent or ameliorate three quarters of all cases of infection at the cost of giving antibiotics to 16% of all women in labour
PMCID: PMC117770  PMID: 12169506
21.  Group B Streptococcal Meningitis: Cerebrospinal Fluid Parameters in the Era of Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis 
Early human development  2009;85(10 Suppl):S5-S7.
Objective
Describe cerebrospinal fluid parameters in infants with culture-proven Group B streptococcal meningitis in the era of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis.
Study Design
Cohort study of the first lumbar puncture from 13,495 infants cared for at 150 neonatal intensive care units. We compared cerebrospinal fluid parameters [white blood cell count, red blood cell count, glucose, and protein], demographics, and outcomes between infants with and without Group B streptococcal meningitis.
Results
We identified 46 infants with Group B streptococcal meningitis. The median cerebrospinal fluid white blood cell count was 271 cells/mm3 for infants with Group B streptococcal meningitis and 6 cells/mm3 for infants without meningitis (p=0.0001). Of the infants with Group B streptococcal meningitis, 9/46 (20%) had negative blood cultures. Meningitis complicated 22/145 (15%) of episodes of early onset Group B streptococcal sepsis and 13/23 (57%) of episodes of late onset Group B streptococcal sepsis.
Conclusions
Group B streptococcal meningitis occurs in the presence of negative blood cultures. In hospitalized infants who undergo a lumbar puncture, Group B streptococcal sepsis is frequently complicated by GBS meningitis.
doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2009.08.003
PMCID: PMC2783609  PMID: 19767158
Group B streptococcus; intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis; meningitis
22.  Horizontal transmission of group B streptococcus in a neonatal intensive care unit 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2011;16(6):e48-e50.
The incidence of early-onset group B streptococcal (GBS) sepsis in the neonatal population has decreased substantially since the introduction of maternal intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis and routine prenatal screening. However, these strategies have not reduced the incidence of late-onset GBS infections. Additional research pertaining to the transmission of late-onset GBS infections is required to develop effective preventive methods. The present report describes probable horizontal transmission of late-onset GBS infection among three infants in a neonatal intensive care unit. GBS strain confirmation was based on the microbiological picture, antibiogram and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. These cases highlight the morbidity associated with late-onset GBS disease and the importance of considering horizontal transmission as an etiological factor in GBS infection in the newborn period. Further studies assessing horizontal transmission in late-onset GBS disease may improve prevention and early intervention.
PMCID: PMC3328229  PMID: 22654550
Breast milk; Group B streptococcus; Horizontal transmission; Late onset
23.  Knowledge and Practice of Prechewing/Prewarming Food by HIV-Infected Women 
Pediatrics  2011;127(5):e1206-e1211.
OBJECTIVE:
HIV transmission has been associated with offering a child food prechewed by an HIV-infected caregiver. We assessed awareness of prechewing and oral prewarming of food by an adult before offering it to a child among HIV-infected pregnant women and clinical investigators in 3 Latin American countries.
METHODS:
HIV-infected pregnant women at 12 sites (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development International Site Development Initiative Perinatal Longitudinal Study in Latin American Countries, a prospective cohort trial) in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru were administered a screening survey about prechewing/prewarming of infant foods and cautioned against these feeding practices. Survey responses were analyzed, overall, and stratified according to country.
RESULTS:
Of the 401 HIV-infected pregnant women interviewed, 34% had heard about prechewing (50% from Argentina, 32% from Brazil, and 36% from Peru), 23% knew someone who prechewed food for infants, and 4% had prechewed food in the past. Seventeen percent had heard about oral prewarming of food, 13% knew someone who prewarmed food for infants, and 3% had prewarmed food for an infant in the past. Women who reported knowing someone who prechewed were more likely to also know someone who prewarmed food (P < .0001). Few site investigators anticipated that their patients would be aware of these practices.
CONCLUSIONS:
Prechewing food, a potential risk factor for HIV transmission, and orally prewarming food, which has not been associated with HIV transmission but might expose a child to blood from an HIV-infected adult, are not uncommon practices in Latin America. Both practices should be further investigated. Site investigator responses underscore that health care providers could be missing information about cultural practices that patients may not report unless specifically asked.
doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1902
PMCID: PMC3081188  PMID: 21482608
HIV; prechewing; prewarming; premastication; child
24.  The Impact of Tobacco Use on Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes 
American journal of perinatology  2012;30(3):185-190.
Objective
To determine if tobacco use increases the incidence of preterm premature rupture of the membranes (pPROM) or alters perinatal outcomes after pPROM.
Study Design
This is a secondary analysis of the databases of three completed Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development–supported Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network studies. Self-reported tobacco exposure data was obtained. Its relationship with the incidence of pPROM and associated neonatal outcome measures were assessed.
Results
There was no difference in the incidence of pPROM when comparing non-smokers to those using tobacco. Although a trend was seen between the incidence of pPROM and the amount smoked, this did not reach statistical significance. Among the patients with pPROM, the use of tobacco was not associated with an increase in perinatal morbidity.
Conclusion
Our data do not support a significant relationship between tobacco use and pPROM.
doi:10.1055/s-0032-1322517
PMCID: PMC3962832  PMID: 22930157
tobacco; premature rupture of the membranes
25.  Detection of group B streptococcal antigen in early-onset and late-onset group B streptococcal disease with the Wellcogen Strep B latex agglutination test. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1982;16(4):656-658.
The Wellcogen Strep B latex agglutination test (Wellcome Diagnostics, Dartford, England) was evaluated as a method of detecting group B streptococcal antigen in urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and serum from neonates with early-onset (less than or equal to 7 days of age) and late-onset group B streptococcal disease. Urine was the best source of antigen, which was detected in 100% of six neonates with early-onset group B streptococcal disease who had urine available in the first 12 h of illness and in 88% of 17 group B streptococcus-infected neonates with urine available in the first 48 h of illness. Antigen was not detected in any samples from patients without group B streptococcal disease except in the urine of one patient with Proteus mirabilis meningitis. The Wellcogen Strep B latex test of the lot tested compares favorably with a noncommercially available latex agglutination test.
PMCID: PMC272440  PMID: 6759523

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