Management of asymptomatic, term gestation neonates born to mothers treated with intrapartum antibiotics

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1990 Nov;9(11):826-31.


Intrapartum antibiotics are frequently administered to parturient women for suspected chorioamnionitis to treat infection in the mother and to prevent or treat infection in the baby. We sent a questionnaire to the 150 United States fellowship program directors in neonatology and pediatric infectious disease, focusing on recommendations for evaluation and therapy of apparently healthy, pretreated, term gestation infants. Eighty-three (55%) of the completed responses were analyzed. Sixteen (19%) respondents do no initial laboratory evaluation but simply observe the baby, 65 (78%) take a complete blood count as well as a platelet count, 59 (71%) obtain blood cultures, 41 (49%) check urine antigen for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and 23 (28%) perform a lumbar puncture. Only 39% of respondents would begin antibiotic therapy for all pretreated infants. If the evaluation were unremarkable 65 directors would treat for less than or equal to 3 days. If only the urine GBS antigen were positive 47 would treat for greater than or equal to 7 days, while if an elevated immature neutrophil:total neutrophil ratio were the sole abnormality 19 would treat for greater than or equal to 7 days. Forty-four respondents thought that a combination of an elevated immature neutrophil:total neutrophil ratio and a positive urine GBS antigen should always be considered indicative of bacteremia. Given a different scenario, that of a mother treated with intrapartum antibiotics because of a positive cervical culture for GBS and a risk factor (e.g. temperature greater than or equal to 38 degrees C), 58 respondents would begin antibiotics. There is no consensus regarding management of pretreated, healthy appearing, term gestation neonates.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cervix Uteri / microbiology
  • Chorioamnionitis / drug therapy*
  • Chorioamnionitis / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents