Epidemiology of invasive neonatal Cronobacter (Enterobacter sakazakii) infections
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- Friedemann, M. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis (2009) 28: 1297. doi:10.1007/s10096-009-0779-4
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About 120–150 neonatal Cronobacter spp. (Enterobacter sakazakii) infections have been described. An analysis of current case numbers, epidemiological measures and risk factors is warranted. Data of microbiologically confirmed cases, published between 2000 and 2008, have been analysed statistically. More than 100 neonatal Cronobacter infections have been reported in this period. The overall lethality of the 67 invasive infections was 26.9%. The lethality of Cronobacter meningitis, bacteraemia and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) was calculated to be 41.9% (P < 0.0001), <10% and 19.0% (P < 0.05), respectively. Logistic regression models (P < 0.0001) revealed a higher gestational age at birth and parentage not from Europe as significant factors for a higher reporting probability of neonatal Cronobacter meningitis. Neonates with Cronobacter meningitis not originating from North America have a higher risk for lethal outcome than other neonatal Cronobacter infections (P < 0.0001). Continental differences of risk factors for Cronobacter meningitis and for the lethal outcome of neonatal meningitis should be elucidated. Neonatal Cronobacter infections are mainly associated with the contamination of infant formula and of the relevant cleaning and preparation equipment. Eleven neonatal Cronobacter infections, not caused by contaminated infant formula, have been retrieved. Other environmental sources of infection should be considered. Consistent and sufficiently informative data of invasive neonatal Cronobacter infections should be recorded in a centralized reporting system.