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PO-0555 Predictive Value Of Admission Surface Swabs In Early-onset Neonatal Sepsis In Extremely Low Birth Weight (elbw) Infants In A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (nicu)
  1. M Mustapa1,
  2. J Egyepong1,
  3. AK Abdul-Rahman2
  1. 1Neonatal Intensive Care, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Luton, UK
  2. 2Public Health Directorate, Luton Borough Council, Luton, UK


Introduction Early Onset Neonatal Sepsis (EONS) is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in ELBW infants. Admission surface swab cultures (SSC) form part of admission surveillance cultures, however its place in the management of EONS is questionable.

Objective To determine:

  • Sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of SSC.

  • If culture result would reflect on mean CRP value in first 72 hrs.

  • If maternal swabs and mode of delivery correlated with microbiological result in the baby.


  • Retrospective cohort study.

  • All inborn ELBW infants admitted into a Level 3 NICU from January 2010–December 2013.

  • Maternal swabs; mode of delivery; infants SSC, blood cultures and mean CRP (within 72 h) were reviewed.


  • 161 ELBW infants were admitted and all had admission SSC, CRPs and blood cultures.

  • 25 of 161 (15.5%) had positive SSC (Figure 1) of which 5 were mixed culture results.

  • 11 of 161 (6.8%) had EONS (positive blood cultures) (Table 1).

  • 4 of 25 (16%) of positive SSC had correlating blood culture – all of which were E coli; 1 subject had positive SSC and blood culture but did not correlate.

  • There was a statistically significant association between mode of delivery and positive culture result, χ2(1) = 10.263, p = 0.001 (Figure 2).

  • Sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value for skin swab were 36.3%, 86.7% and 16% respectively.

Abstract PO-0555 Figure 1

Bacteria grown from skinj swab

Abstract PO-0555 Figure 2

Percentage of positive microbiological result for different mode of delivery

Abstract PO-0555 Table 1

Bacteria grown from initial blood cultures

Abstract PO-0555 Table 2

Mean CRP for different microbiological result


  • Routine SSC is inefficient in predicting the pathogen responsible for sepsis among premature neonates.

  • E coli was the predominant organism in the study and 37% of babies with positive SSC had E. coli sepsis (blood culture).

  • Mean CRP was higher in positive skin ± blood culture cases. However this was statistically not significant.

  • There was increased risk of EONS with Vaginal delivery.

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