Aetiology and outcome of neonatal sepsis and meningitis in Malawi

Dube, Queen
Aetiology and outcome of neonatal sepsis and meningitis in Malawi. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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In Malawi there has been significant progress in reducing post-neonatal and under-5 deaths over the past decade but very little progress in reducing neonatal deaths. The major causes of neonatal deaths in Malawi are prematurity, infections and birth asphyxia. Neonatal sepsis has been shown to have long term complications ranging from motor deficits to cognitive impairment, epilepsy and behavioural disorders in preterm very low birth weight infants in the developed setting. Contrary to the epidemiology in the developed setting where neonatal sepsis is predominantly seen in preterm low birth weight infants, in the developing setting neonatal sepsis is also common among term babies. However, very little is known on the long term outcome of neonatal sepsis in the resource restrained setting. In this thesis the aetiology and outcome of neonatal sepsis and meningitis is investigated. METHODOLOGY This was study had 2 components; a cross sectional arm and a prospective cohort arm. The cross sectional study was looking at the aetiology, resistance pattern and in hospital outcome of severe neonatal infection cases presenting at QECH in Blantyre. The prospective cohort arm involved participants who were recruited in the cross sectional arm at QECH and were residing within Blantyre urban and infants that never had an episode of severe neonatal infection were recruited from Zingwangwa health Centre. The infants from Zingwangwa acted as controls. The participants in the prospective cohort arm were followed up to the age of 1 year where neurodevelopmental outcomes were assessed using the Bayley’s assessment tool. These participants also had detailed neurologic examination during the follow up visits at 6 and 12 months of age. A comparison between the cases and controls was made to ascertain the impact of neonatal infection outcome. RESULTS During the study a total of 412 cases were enrolled in the cross sectional arm. 75% of the cases had late onset disease. GBS was the commonest organism grown in blood culture 17/42(40%) and CSF culture 16/33(48%). 44% had abnormal serum sodium levels on admission and hypernatraemia was independently associated with an increased risk of dying in hospital (8.34[95% CI 1.95-35.7]). 51% of the gram negative organisms were multidrug resistant. In the long term outcome neonatal sepsis without overt meningitis was associated with an up to 6.6 –fold {95% CI (2.38-18.4} increased risk of developmental delay at 1 year of age. Meningitis was associated with a 17-fold {95% CI 4.89- 61.7} increased risk of developmental delay at 1 year of age. Positive blood or CSF culture and being HIV exposed were independent predictors of delay at I year of age. CONCLUSION GBS is a significant cause of neonatal infections in Malawi. The magnitude of developmental delay observed in infants who had neonatal sepsis without meningitis is worrying up to 35% of these infants were delayed. It is therefore important to employ measures that can prevent neonatal infections. Follow up is recommended in infants who had an episode of severe neonatal infection.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-04-04 (completed)
Subjects: ?? RJ ??
?? RJ101 ??
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2015 13:31
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:42
DOI: 10.17638/02005539