Aetiology and risk factors for neonatal sepsis at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

  • E.O. Shobowale
  • F.T. Ogunsola
  • O.O. Oduyebo
  • V.I. Ezeaka


Background. Neonatal sepsis is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries, accounting for a large proportion of neonatal deaths annually. Every year, 4 million neonates die, and one-third of these deaths is attributed directly to neonatal sepsis.

Objectives. To determine the prevalence of neonatal sepsis, characterise and identify causative organisms and identify possible risk factors. Specific objectives were to determine the aetiological agents responsible for neonatal sepsis at Lagos University Teaching Hospital and also to identify the risk factors responsible for the development of neonatal sepsis.

Methods. Venous blood pairs were collected from clinically septic admitted neonates and inoculated into BACTEC Peds Plus (BD, USA) bottles aerobically in the BACTEC 9050 system. Organisms were identified using the Microbact 12A/E system and biochemicals. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data for risk factors, which were analysed with the SPSS version 17.

Results. Of 250 neonates who were sampled, 85 (34%) had pathogens recovered from their bloodstream, with Klebsiella pneumoniae the predominant organism. Risk factors for sepsis were being delivered outside the hospital (p=0.01), and by frequent changes in antibiotics (p=0.00).

Conclusion. The burden of neonatal sepsis is still high in our environment as evidenced by our isolation rate of 34%. A concerted effort needs to be made to reduce this.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1999-7671
print ISSN: 1994-3032