The bacteriology of neonatal septicaemia in Ile-Ife, Nigeria

J Trop Pediatr. 1999 Jun;45(3):146-51. doi: 10.1093/tropej/45.3.146.


The incidence of septicaemia among neonates categorized as being at high risk was 55 per cent in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Gram-positive organisms, specifically Staphylococcus aureus, were predominant (33.8 per cent) among bacteria cultured from proven cases of septicaemia. Other coagulase-negative staphylococci also contributed 21 per cent, with Staphylococcus epidermidis occurring in 5 per cent of the isolates. Listeria monocytogenes was cultured from 8.4 per cent of septic neonates. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was cultured from 3 per cent, Klebsiella pneumoniae from 14 per cent, and Escherichia coli from 7 per cent. Other Gram-negative bacilli cultured were Enterobacter aerogenes (5 per cent), Citrobacter freundii, Salmonella sp., and Proteus sp. (2 per cent each). The bacterial isolates were relatively resistant to antibiotics traditionally employed to treat cases of septicaemia. The study shows a high prevalence of neonatal bacterial sepsis at the centre and the emerging role of Listeria monocytogenes in the aetiology of neonatal sepsis. It highlights the preponderance of multiple antibiotic resistant organisms among these neonates early in life which is of epidemiological importance in the control of the infectious agents.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / microbiology*
  • Bacteremia / mortality
  • Cross Infection / microbiology*
  • Cross Infection / mortality
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infection Control
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nigeria
  • Prevalence