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Elizabethkingia meningoseptica Outbreak in NICU: An Observational Study on a Debilitating Neuroinfection in Neonates

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2024 Jan 1;43(1):63-68. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000004117. Epub 2023 Sep 14.


BACKGROUND: Elizabethkingia meningoseptica is an emerging nosocomial pathogen implicated in neonatal sepsis with high mortality and morbidities. However, there is very limited data regarding the characteristics as well as outcomes following this infection, particularly in developing countries.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational study of all infants with culture-positive Elizabethkingia sepsis as part of an outbreak, to study their clinical and epidemiological characteristics, as well as their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns, using a structured proforma from the neonatal intensive care unit database. Analysis was done using descriptive statistics and predictors of mortality and hydrocephalus were also identified.

RESULTS: Of the 21 neonates enrolled, 9 (42.9%) were male, with a mean gestational age and birth weight of 31.7 ± 3.4 weeks and 1320 ± 364 g, respectively. The median (interquartile range) age of onset of illness was 7 (5-12) days. The overall mortality rate was 23.8%, and among survivors, 50% had neurologic complications requiring intervention. Vancomycin and ciprofloxacin were the most used antibiotics for treatment in our series, with a median duration of 26 (17-38) days. On univariate analysis, shock at presentation was significantly associated with increased mortality (P = 0.04) while, seizures (P = 0.04) and elevated cerebrospinal fluid protein levels (P = 0 .01) at onset of illness predicted progressive hydrocephalus in surviving neonates.

CONCLUSION: E. meningoseptica sepsis is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Early diagnosis and prompt initiation of appropriate antibiotics are critical for improving survival and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Though isolation of the organism by environmental surveillance is always not possible, with proper infection control measures, the infection can be controlled.

PMID:38100733 | DOI:10.1097/INF.0000000000004117

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