We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Improving Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections in Infants
News

Improving Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections in Infants

Improving Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections in Infants
News

Improving Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections in Infants

Credit: Pixabay.
Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Improving Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections in Infants"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

A new protocol could help emergency room physicians to rule out life-threatening bacterial infections among infants up to 2 months of age who have fevers, potentially eliminating the need for spinal taps, unnecessary antibiotic treatments or expensive hospital stays. Researchers from the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) developed the protocol from a study of more than 1,800 infants seen at 26 emergency departments around the country. Their study was funded by two agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, part of the Health Resources & Services Administration. PECARN, a research network of 18 pediatric emergency departments and 9 emergency medical services agencies, is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The findings appear in JAMA Pediatrics.

Previous studies suggest that 8 to 13 percent of infants up to 2 months of age who have a fever may have a serious bacterial infection (SBI). These include urinary tract infections, bacteremia (bacteria in the blood) and bacterial meningitis (bacterial infection of the membrane housing the brain and spinal cord). Often, a physician will need to confirm a diagnosis with a spinal tap (lumbar puncture), in which a small amount of fluid is extracted from the spinal canal. Although complications of the procedure are rare, they include inflammation of the spinal canal, bleeding and headache. In addition, an infant may be given antibiotics when a bacterial infection is suspected and may be admitted to a hospital for observation.


The new protocol measures the levels of bacteria in urine, of procalcitonin (a substance produced in response to bacterial infection) in serum, and of neutrophils (an infection-fighting white blood cell). The researchers ruled out an SBI if tests showed low levels of bacteria and procalcitonin and a normal neutrophil count. They were able to accurately rule out all but three of the 170 cases of SBI ultimately detected, including all cases of meningitis. The authors note that their findings need to be verified in a larger sample before they can be applied to medical practice.

This article has been republished from materials provided by the National Institutes of Health. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Reference
Kupperman, N., et al A clinical prediction rule to identify febrile infants 60 days and younger at low risk for serious bacterial infections. JAMA Pediatrics. 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5501.

Advertisement