Received: October 27, 2009
Accepted: February 15, 2010
Tripathi S, Malik GK. Neonatal Sepsis: past, present and future; a review article. Internet J Med Update 2010 Jul;5(2):45-54.


Dr. Shalini Tripathi* MD and Professor G. K. Malik** MD

*Lecturer, Department of Pediatrics, Era’s Lucknow Medical College, Lucknow, India
**Director, Department of Pediatrics, RML Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India

(Corresponding Author: Dr. Shalini Tripathi, House No. 255/394, In front of Tikona Park, Kundri, Rakabganj, Lucknow 226003, India; Email:


Sepsis is the most common cause of neonatal mortality. As per National Neonatal Perinatal Database (NNPD) 2002-2003, the incidence of neonatal sepsis in India was 30 per 1000 live birth. It is 3% among intramural babies and 39.7% among extramural admissions. The early manifestations of neonatal sepsis are vague and ill-defined. Novel approaches in the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis include heart rate analysis on ECG or colorimetric analysis of skin color. Although blood culture is the gold standard for the diagnosis of sepsis, culture reports would be available only after 48-72 hours. In this era of multidrug resistance, it is mandatory to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics to treat non-infected infants. Thus, rapid diagnostic test(s) that differentiate infected from non-infected infants, particularly in the early newborn period, that include Interleukien-6 (IL-6), neutrophil CD64 index, procalcitonin and nucleated RBC count, have the potential to make a significant impact on neonatal care. The aim of this review is to specify the diagnostic criteria, treatment guidelines and a summary of the newer diagnostic tests of sepsis.

KEY WORDS: Sepsis; Intramural; Extramural; Multidrug resistance