What is the role of prematurity in the etiology of neonatal sepsis?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Nathan S Gollehon, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

In addition to the relationship between preterm PROM and neonatal sepsis, there are other associations between prematurity and neonatal sepsis that increase the risk for premature infants.

Preterm infants are more likely to require invasive procedures, such as umbilical catheterization and intubation. Preterm delivery is associated with infection from cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), Toxoplasma,Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Campylobacter fetus, and Listeria species. Intrauterine growth retardation and low birth weight are also observed in CMV infection and toxoplasmosis.

Premature infants have less immunologic ability to resist and combat infection. Consequently, they are more susceptible to infection caused by common organisms such as coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, an organism usually not associated with severe sepsis.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!