A prospective study of chlamydial, mycoplasmal, and viral infections in a neonatal intensive care unit.
In a prospective study of non-bacterial infection in a neonatal intensive care unit in north west London, Chlamydia trachomatis infection was identified in 4 of 280 babies (1.4%) and was the most common cause of neonatal ophthalmia. One of the four developed pneumonitis. Ureaplasma urealyticum was found to colonise the nasopharynx in 53 of 235 babies (22.6%), with Mycoplasma hominis present in 6 of 235 babies (2.6%). There was a statistically significant association between U urealyticum colonisation and preterm birth or prolonged rupture of membranes. Colonisation occurred more commonly in babies with apnoea. Viral infection was detected in 16 of 280 babies (5.7%). Rotavirus was identified in 5 of 170 babies (2.9%) and was associated with necrotising enterocolitis in two infants and with bloody diarrhoea in another. Respiratory syncytial virus, which was identified in 4 of 280 babies (1.4%), was not associated with lower respiratory tract infection.