Distinguishing true coagulase-negative Staphylococcus infections from contaminants in the neonatal intensive care unit

Journal of Perinatology, 05/02/2012

Healy CM et al. – True coagulase–negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) infection is unlikely in infants with BW >2000g and gestation >34 weeks. Total CL required for care, lethargy and gastric residuals predicted true CoNS infection.


  • Retrospective cohort study of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) infants with clinical sepsis and CoNS isolated from >2 blood cultures (BCs) or one BC and a sterile site (proved infection) or CoNS isolated from one BC and deemed significant after blinded data review (probable infection).


  • In all, 98% of 40 proved and 96% of 55 probable infections occurred in infants with birth weight (BW) <2000g and gestation <34 weeks.
  • Total central lines (CLs) placed, but not CL duration or presence in situ, predicted proved (odds ratio (OR) 3.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4 to 8.3; P=0.005) and probable infection (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.3 to 5.6; P=0.007) by multivariate analysis as did lethargy and gastric residuals.

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