Author(s): Sidebottom DG, Freeman J, Platt R, Epstein MF, Goldmann DA
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Abstract Investigators worldwide, as well as the neonatologists and infection control team at our hospital, have reported that the incidence of coagulase-negative staphylococcal bacteremia in critically ill neonates has increased dramatically in recent years. To investigate these claims, we examined the results of all blood cultures obtained from 1970 to 1984 in our neonatal intensive care unit. Throughout this study period, coagulase-negative staphylococci were prominent blood culture isolates (crude overall incidence of 4.4 positive bacteremia workups per 100 neonates admitted; range, 2.5 to 6.7), representing 26.3 to 69.6\% of all positive cultures. There was no significant increase in incidence over time by analysis of linear trend. Detailed analysis of data from 1976 and 1982 (two selected years for which complete information concerning culturing practices and patient characteristics was available) revealed that these observations were not explained by changes in the frequency of blood culturing. In both 1976 and 1982, the probability that a blood culture would grow coagulase-negative staphylococci increased steadily from 2 to 3\% shortly after admission to reach a level of about 12\% in week 3 of hospitalization, before declining to an intermediate level thereafter. This pattern is more consistent with nosocomial bacteremia than with contamination of blood cultures. Contrary to clinical reports, coagulase-negative staphylococci have been the principal pathogens isolated from blood cultures in our neonatal intensive care unit since at least 1970, with no measurable increase over the subsequent 14 years.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology