Neonatal Staphylococcus Aureus Sepsis: a 20-year Western Australian experience

Rachel Shadbolt, Michael Lee Shee We, Rolland Kohan, Michelle Porter, Gayatri Athalye-Jape, Elizabeth Nathan, Damber Shrestha, Tobias Strunk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to characterise neonatal Staphylococcus aureus (SA) sepsis in Western Australia (WA) between 2001 and 2020 at the sole tertiary neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), examine risk factors for sepsis in the cohort, and compare short- and long-term outcomes to control infants without any sepsis. Methods: Retrospective cohort study at the Neonatal Directorate at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Perth Children’s Hospital, using electronic databases and patient medical records. Results: The overall incidence of SA sepsis was 0.10 per 1000 live births (62/614207). From 2001 to 2010 the incidence was 0.13/1000 live births, reducing to 0.07/1000 live births from 2011 to 2020. SA was most frequently isolated from endotracheal aspirates, and infants with SA sepsis had longer median duration of ventilatory support than those without any sepsis (31 days vs 18 days respectively, p < 0.001). In our cohort, SA sepsis was associated with worse neurodevelopmental outcomes compared to infants without any sepsis. Conclusions: The incidence of neonatal SA sepsis has reduced over the last 20 years, suggesting potential effectiveness of the preventative interventions implemented. Endotracheal tube (ETT) colonisation and prolonged ventilation may be under-recognised as potential sources of SA infection. Our study suggests SA sepsis may negatively impact neurodevelopmental outcomes. © 2022, The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1440-1445
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number11
Early online date25 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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