Tip 188: early-onset neonatal infection

The micro-organisms most commonly associated with early onset neonatal infection are group B Streptococcus (GBS), Escherichia coli, coagulase negative Staphylococcus, Haemophilus influenzae and Listeria monocytogenes.

85% of newborns with early-onset infection present within 24 hours, 5% present at 24-48 hours, and the remainder present within 48-72 hours. Onset is most rapid in premature neonates.


NICE early-onset neonatal infection guideline – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2010). Antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection . CG149. London: NICE.

Klinger G, Levy I, Sirota L. (2009). Epidemiology and risk factors for early onset sepsis among very-low-birthweight infants. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 201(1):38.e1-6.

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