Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Bacterial colonisation in a neonatal intensive care unit

Newborn infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are highly vulnerable to colonisation and infection by multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDRB). Healthcare-associated infections due to MDRB are an emerging threat, associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This article analyses the MDRB colonisation rate in a level 3 NICU and its associated risk factors, as well as the subsequent development of infection.

Carolina Oliveira Gonçalves
Pediatric Resident, Child and Youth Department

Catarina Garcia
Consultant Neonatologist, NICU

Elzara Aliyeva
Clinical Pathologist

Marta Ferreira
Consultant Neonatologist, NICU

Rosalina Barroso
Consultant Neonatologist, NICU

Hospital Professor Doutor Fernando Fonseca, Amadora, Lisbon, Portugal

Gonçalves CO., Garcia C., Aliyeva E., Ferreira M., Barroso R. Bacterial colonisation in a neonatal intensive care unit. Infant 2023; 19(6): 222-26.

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colonisation; infection; multidrug-resistant bacteria; neonatal intensive care unit
Key points
  1. Newborns in the NICU are highly vulnerable to colonisation and infection by multidrug-resistant bacteria.
  2. Implementation of colonisation screening in mothers prior to delivery would permit earlier infection control measures.
  3. Limiting antibiotic therapy and implementing isolation measures and staff cohorting in NICUs remains a key element for infection control.

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