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Neonatal sepsis – many blood samples, few positive cultures: implications for improving antibiotic prescribing
  1. Ruth M Blackburn1,
  2. Berit Muller-Pebody1,
  3. Tim Planche2,
  4. Alan Johnson1,
  5. Susan Hopkins3,1,
  6. Mike Sharland4,
  7. Nigel Kennea5,
  8. Paul T Heath4
  1. 1Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, Health Protection Agency, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Medical Microbiology, St. George's Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  4. 4Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Unit, St. George's Hospital, London, UK
  5. 5Department of Neonatology, St George's Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ruth Blackburn, Health Protection Agency, Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK; ruth.blackburn{at}

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is finalising the clinical practice guideline on antibiotics use for early-onset neonatal infection.1 The draft guideline compliments the national Antibiotic Stewardship Programme– Start Smart – then Focus2 by promoting stopping antibiotics at 36 h in infants without signs of infection and negative blood culture results, and switching from the recommended empiric broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment to a narrower-spectrum antibiotic regimen in consultation with microbiologists in those patients with infection.

Prudent antibiotic prescribing …

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  • Correction notice This fi gure has been updated to include the missing footnote. We apologise for using an earlier image.

  • Competing interests PH was part of the NICE guideline development group for the draft guideline on antibiotics for early-onset infection. MS and AJ are members of the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI). There are no competing interests for the other authors.

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

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