Neonatal Infectious Diseases & Antibiotics

Neonatal infections are infections of the neonate (new-born) during the neonatal period or first four weeks after birth. Neonatal infections may be contracted by transplacental transfer in utero, in the birth canal during delivery (perinatal), or by other means after birth. Some infections acquired in the neonatal period do not become apparent until much later such as HIV, hepatitis B and malaria.

There is a higher risk of infection with preterm or low birth weight neonates. Respiratory tract infections contracted by preterm neonates may continue into childhood or possibly adulthood with long-term effects that limit one's ability to engage in normal physical activities, decreasing one's quality of life and increasing health care costs. In some instances, neonatal respiratory tract infections may increase one's susceptibility to future respiratory infections and inflammatory responses related to lung disease.

Antibiotics can be effective treatments for neonatal infections, especially when the pathogen is quickly identified. Instead of relying solely on culturing techniques, pathogen identification has improved substantially with advancing technology; however, neonate mortality has not kept pace and remains 20% to 50%. While preterm neonates are at a particularly high risk, full term and post-term infants can also develop infection.

  • Sexually transmitted diseases in neonates
  • Fungal infections
  • Lung & respiratory infections

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