Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of bovine lactoferrin (BLF) in preventing first episode of late-onset sepsis (LOS) in low birth weight (LBW) neonates.
Methods: In this study conducted from May 2012 to July 2013 in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a tertiary care hospital, inborn asymptomatic neonates, <2000 g, admitted to NICU in first 12 h of birth with no maternal risk factors for sepsis were randomized to receive BLF or placebo from 1st to 28th day of life. The incidence of culture-proven sepsis and sepsis-attributable mortality after 72 h of life was recorded. Increasing doses of BLF were used with higher birth weights.
Results: Incidence of first episode of culture-proven LOS was significantly lower in the BLF group vs. placebo [2/63 (3.2%) vs. 9/67(13.4%); risk ratio, 0.211; 95% CI, 0.044-1.019; p = 0.036]. Statistically significant reduction in the sepsis-attributable mortality was also seen after use of prophylactic BLF [0/63 (0%) vs. 5/67 (7.5%); p = 0.027].
Conclusion: BLF supplementation in LBW neonates reduced the incidence of first episode of LOS.
Keywords: bovine lactoferrin; late-onset sepsis; low birth weight.
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