Types of Bacteria associated with Neonatal Sepsis in Al-Thawra University Hospital, Sana’a, Yemen, and their Antimicrobial Profile

Hassan A Al-Shamahy, Amal A Sabrah, Abdul Baki Al-Robasi, Samarih M Naser


Objectives: This study was undertaken to investigate the organisms causing sepsis in the Neonatal Unit at Al-Thawra Hospital, Sana’a, Yemen, determine their resistance to antibiotics, and recommend policy for empirical treatment. Methods: A total of 158 neonates having one or more signs of sepsis, and aged from 0 to 28 days, were enrolled in this study. A blood sample was taken from each subject, cultured, and then antibacterial susceptibility tests were performed for isolates. Results: 90 (57%) cases yielded positive cultures. Early-onset sepsis showed higher positive culture results (61.7%) than late-onset sepsis (32%). Significant positive culture results were found among the group with birth weight 0.9–2 Kg (78.6%). Gram negative bacteria constituted 97.8% of the total isolates, of which Klebsiella pneumoniae was the predominant pathogen (36.7%), followed by Pseudomonas species (30.0%). The commonest symptoms among the cases were respiratory distress (72.2%), jaundice (62.2%), cyanosis (51.1%), and lethargy (47.8%); the mortality rate was 27.8%. All Gram negative bacterial isolates were sensitive to imipenem and some isolates were sensitive to fourth-generation cephalosporins, but most isolates were highly resistant to the majority of other antibiotics tested. Conclusion: Gram negative organisms were the most frequent causative agents of bacterial sepsis, which is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in the newborn, and particularly in those of very low birth weight. It can also be concluded that imipenem and fourth-generation cephalosporins can be used for empirical treatment of bacterial sepsis.


Sepsis; Neonatal; Early-onset; Late-onset; Drug resistance; Treatment, empirical; Sanaa; Yemen.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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