Objectives: We sought to determine the prevalence, pattern of causative organisms, and mortality of newborns with culture-proven late-onset sepsis (LOS) and to determine and compare the risk factors linked to late-onset gram-positive and late-onset gram-negative sepsis in Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH). Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective study of data obtained between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2014 (eight years) from infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at SQUH. Infants born in SQUH (inborn) and other institutions (outborn) with positive blood cultures were included in the study. Results: The total number of live births and admissions during the study period were 26 289 and 3559, respectively. The total number of infants identified with LOS were 125 of whom 69 (55.2%) were gram-positive, 52 (41.6%) were gram-negative, and four (3.2%) were due to Candida species (spp.). The majority of infants (n = 113, 90.4%) were inborn; 69 (55.2%) were males and 56 (44.8%) were females. The prevalence of LOS among inborn admissions was 4.3 per 1000 live births. Most infections occurred in very low birth weight infants (n = 81, 64.8%). Eleven (8.8%) infants died due to gram-negative sepsis. Klebsiella pneumoniae followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the leading cause of death. Maternal intrapartum antibiotics were the only independent risk factor correlating with gram-negative organisms in multivariate analysis (p = 0.003). Conclusions: LOS poses a burden in the NICU, which could be due to the increasing survival of premature babies. The main contributing organisms to LOS are gram-positive bacteria. Klebsiella spp. is a major cause of mortality in LOS. The use of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis in mothers might explain the positive correlation of maternal antibiotics as a risk factor with gram-negative infections.
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