A male infant of 32 weeks' gestational age who presented with recurrent apnoea on the second day of life was shown to have an Escherichia coli K1 antigen meningitis. Relapse occurred 6 days after an adequate systemic course of gentamicin and chloramphenicol and intrathecal gentamicin. This was successfully treated with intraventricular gentamicin and systemic cotrimoxazole. The need to maintain a high index of suspicion for meningitis in the newborn period and to treat adequately the frequently accompanying ventriculitis is emphasized.
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