A group of researchers from the University of North Carolina, Duke University and the Pediatrix-Obstetrix Center for Research and Development in Sunrise, Florida have gathered together to study the impact of Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis protocol for newborns with serious bacterial infections (SBIs).

Researchers collected data from newborns admitted to NICUs (neonatal intensive care units) in all of the 322 departments operated by the Pediatrix Medical Group. Data on 716,407 infants were available. Positive cultures for group B strep (GBS) and E. coli (EC) were found in 2,520 and 2,476 infants, respectively. Between 1997 and 2001, universal protocols were not in place for treatment of SBIs, but protocols were in place starting in 2002.

Incidences of early-onset GBS decreased from 3.5/1,000 to 2.6/1,000, but late-onset GBS cases increased from 0.8/1,000 to 1.1/1,000. EC infections remained the same with 1.4/1,000 before and after universal protocol.

While universal protocols for SBIs did effectively decrease the number of early-onset GBS cases, late-onset and EC infections were not adequately addressed and either increased or remained the same.

Source: Bauserman MS, Laughon MM, Hornik CP, Smith PB, Benjamin DK Jr, Clark RH, Engmann C, Cohen-Wolkowiez M. Group B Streptococcus and Escherichia coli Infections in the Intensive Care Nursery in the Era of Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2012 Sep 24.