Sepsis as a risk factor for neonatal morbidity in extremely preterm infants

Acta Paediatr. 2015 Nov;104(11):1070-6. doi: 10.1111/apa.13104. Epub 2015 Aug 17.


Aim: This study evaluated sepsis as a risk factor for neonatal morbidities and investigated the association between specific pathogens and neonatal morbidities.

Methods: This was a nationwide Swedish prospective cohort study, consisting of the 497 extremely premature children, who were born before 27 weeks of gestation between 2004 and 2007 and survived their first year of life. Neonatal sepsis was evaluated as a risk factor for neonatal morbidity using multiple logistic linear regression analyses.

Results: We found that 326 (66%) of the infants had at least one sepsis episode and coagulase-negative staphylococci was the most common pathogen. Definite sepsis, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.6, was associated with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia, but not clinical sepsis (OR 1.1). Definite sepsis was also associated with a prolonged hospital stay (OR 1.6). Sepsis was not significantly associated with a higher risk of retinopathy of prematurity or intraventricular haemorrhage.

Conclusion: Extremely preterm infants face a great risk of acquiring neonatal sepsis, with coagulase-negative staphylococci being the most common pathogen in this population. Definite sepsis seemed to be a risk factor for severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia and prolonged hospital stay, but the associations were weaker than in previous studies.

Keywords: Morbidity; Neonatal; Prematurity; Risk factor; Sepsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Premature
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sepsis / complications*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / complications