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Changes in incidence and etiology of early-onset neonatal infections 1997-2017 - a retrospective cohort study in western Sweden.

Journal article
Authors Margrét Johansson Gudjónsdóttir
Anders Elfvin
Elisabet Hentz
Ingegerd Adlerberth
Ingemar Tessin
Birger Trollfors
Published in BMC pediatrics
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 490
ISSN 1471-2431
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 490
Language en
Subject categories Pediatrics


The objective of the study was to evaluate data on early-onset neonatal invasive infections in western Sweden for the period 1997-2017. To identify changes in incidence, etiology and mortality and compare to previous studies from the same area starting from 1975.Observational epidemiological, retrospective study on infants 0-6 days of age with a positive culture in blood and/or cerebrospinal fluid between 1997 and 2017. A comparison was made of the incidence between 2008 and 2017 compared to 1997-2007. Changes in the incidence of infections due to Group B streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus and aerobic Gram-negative rods were assessed from 1975.The total incidence, including both recognized pathogens and commensals as causative agents, was 1.1/1000 live births. The incidence declined from 1.4/1000 LB in 1997-2007 to 0.9/1000 LB in 2008-2017 but the case-fatality rate remained unchanged, (8/119 vs 7/90), at 7%. Among the 209 patients identified during 1997-2017 with sepsis or meningitis the most common organisms were Group B streptococci (40%, 84/209), S. aureus (16%, 33/209) and E. coli (9%, 18/209). The incidence of Group B streptococci infections went from 0.9/1000 live births 1987-1996 to 0.45/1000 live births 1997-2017 and all cases were within 72 h. The proportion of extremely preterm infants (< 28 weeks gestation) rose steadily during the study period but there was no rise in infections due to Gram-negative organisms. The spectrum of cultured organisms changed after 72 h as commensal organisms started to emerge.There has been a decrease in the incidence of neonatal early-onset infections compared to previous studies in western Sweden. The incidence of GBS infections was not as low as in other reports. Further studies are needed to assess if screening-based intra partum antimicrobial prophylaxis instead of a risk factor-based approach for identifying candidates for intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis would be a better option for this study area.This study is one of the longest running follow-ups in the world, a follow-up of 43 years of early-onset neonatal infections.The incidence of early-onset GBS infections is higher in Western Sweden compared to other local reports.No difference in the incidence of early-onset GBS depending on the definition of early-onset being within 72 h or 7 days of life.

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