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Screening for colonisation with gentamicin-resistant Gram-negative organisms on the neonatal unit: does positive screening predict sepsis?
  1. Oliver Walker,
  2. Carolyn Babb,
  3. Konstantinos Karampatsas,
  4. Justin Richards,
  5. Nigel Kennea
  1. Department of Neonatology, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London SW17 0QT, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nigel Kennea, Department of Neonatology, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London SW17 0QT, UK; nigel.kennea{at}

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Late onset neonatal sepsis (LOS) occurs in 2–3/1000 babies in the UK.1 Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) account for about 40% of episodes and are associated with high mortality and poorer neurodevelopmental outcomes.1 Colonisation with GNB may precede infection.2 Screening for colonisation is implemented by neonatal units to guide infection control practices and appropriate antibiotic prescription. There is variation in screening procedures across the UK’s 198 neonatal units; 21% screen infants for gentamicin-resistant or extended-spectrum beta-lactamases(ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae.3 At our tertiary-level neonatal unit, surface swabs have been taken weekly to screen for gentamicin-resistant GNB. We conducted a retrospective analysis to investigate whether colonisation screening in our unit is effective at predicting LOS.

All screening swabs and blood …

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  • Contributors Conceptualisation: NK. Data curation: OW and CB. Formal analysis: OW, CB and NK. Supervision: JR and NK. Writing: original draft: KK. Writing: review and editing: all authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.