Microbiology of Necrotizing Fasciitis Associated With Omphalitis in the Newborn Infant

J Perinatol. Jan-Feb 1998;18(1):28-30.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to report the aerobic and anaerobic microbiology of periumbilical necrotizing fasciitis in newborn infants.

Study design: Retrospective review was done of the author's 20-year experience.

Results: Specimens obtained from 11 newborn infants with periumbilical necrotizing fasciitis were cultured for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. A total of 38 bacterial isolates was recovered: 21 aerobic and facultative and 17 anaerobic. Aerobic or facultative bacteria only were present in 1 specimen (9%), anaerobes only in 2 (18%), and mixed aerobic and anaerobic flora in 8 (73%). Multiple organisms were recovered from all instances and the number of isolates varied from two to six (average 3.5 isolates per specimen). The predominant isolates were Peptostreptococcus sp. (7 isolates); Bacteroides fragilis group (6); streptococcus group B (4); and Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus group D, Escherichia coli, and Proteus mirabilis (3 each). All patients underwent extensive debridement and resection, and they received supportive and antimicrobial therapy. Six (55%) of the patients died.

Conclusions: These findings illustrate the polymicrobial aerobic-anaerobic flora of periumbilical necrotizing fasciitis.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / mortality
  • Bacterial Infections / surgery
  • Debridement
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / complications*
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / microbiology*
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Umbilicus / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents