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Neonatal Paenibacilliosis: $Paenibacillus$ Infection as a Novel Cause of Sepsis in Term Neonates With High Risk of Sequelae in Uganda


Abstract

Background
Paenibacillus thiaminolyticus may be an underdiagnosed cause of neonatal sepsis.

Methods
We prospectively enrolled a cohort of 800 full-term neonates presenting with a clinical diagnosis of sepsis at 2 Ugandan hospitals. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction specific to P. thiaminolyticus and to the Paenibacillus genus were performed on the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 631 neonates who had both specimen types available. Neonates with Paenibacillus genus or species detected in either specimen type were considered to potentially have paenibacilliosis, (37/631, 6%). We described antenatal, perinatal, and neonatal characteristics, presenting signs, and 12-month developmental outcomes for neonates with paenibacilliosis versus clinical sepsis due to other causes.

Results
Median age at presentation was 3 days (interquartile range 1, 7). Fever (92%), irritability (84%), and clinical signs of seizures (51%) were common. Eleven (30%) had an adverse outcome: 5 (14%) neonates died during the first year of life; 5 of 32 (16%) survivors developed postinfectious hydrocephalus (PIH) and 1 (3%) additional survivor had neurodevelopmental impairment without hydrocephalus.

Conclusions
Paenibacillus species was identified in 6% of neonates with signs of sepsis who presented to 2 Ugandan referral hospitals; 70% were P. thiaminolyticus. Improved diagnostics for neonatal sepsis are urgently needed. Optimal antibiotic treatment for this infection is unknown but ampicillin and vancomycin will be ineffective in many cases. These results highlight the need to consider local pathogen prevalence and the possibility of unusual pathogens when determining antibiotic choice for neonatal sepsis.

Abstract

Background
Paenibacillus thiaminolyticus may be an underdiagnosed cause of neonatal sepsis.

Methods
We prospectively enrolled a cohort of 800 full-term neonates presenting with a clinical diagnosis of sepsis at 2 Ugandan hospitals. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction specific to P. thiaminolyticus and to the Paenibacillus genus were performed on the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 631 neonates who had both specimen types available. Neonates with Paenibacillus genus or species detected in either specimen type were considered to potentially have paenibacilliosis, (37/631, 6%). We described antenatal, perinatal, and neonatal characteristics, presenting signs, and 12-month developmental outcomes for neonates with paenibacilliosis versus clinical sepsis due to other causes.

Results
Median age at presentation was 3 days (interquartile range 1, 7). Fever (92%), irritability (84%), and clinical signs of seizures (51%) were common. Eleven (30%) had an adverse outcome: 5 (14%) neonates died during the first year of life; 5 of 32 (16%) survivors developed postinfectious hydrocephalus (PIH) and 1 (3%) additional survivor had neurodevelopmental impairment without hydrocephalus.

Conclusions
Paenibacillus species was identified in 6% of neonates with signs of sepsis who presented to 2 Ugandan referral hospitals; 70% were P. thiaminolyticus. Improved diagnostics for neonatal sepsis are urgently needed. Optimal antibiotic treatment for this infection is unknown but ampicillin and vancomycin will be ineffective in many cases. These results highlight the need to consider local pathogen prevalence and the possibility of unusual pathogens when determining antibiotic choice for neonatal sepsis.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Microbiology (medical)
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Uncontrolled Keywords:Infectious Diseases, Microbiology (medical)
Language:English
Date:11 September 2023
Deposited On:01 Dec 2023 10:22
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:40
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1058-4838
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciad337
PubMed ID:37279589
Other Identification Number:PMCID: PMC10495130
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  • : FunderGenetech
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  • : FunderN-Power Medicine
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