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Urinary tract infection is common in VLBW infants

Journal of Perinatology (2018) | Download Citation



Determine the significance of urinary tract infection (UTI) as a cause of late onset sepsis (LOS) in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Study design

Analysis of blood, cerebrospinal fluid and urine culture results in VLBW infants >72-h old, admitted to the Georgetown University Hospital NICU between 2005 and 2015.


Of 527 VLBW infants, 297 (56.4%) underwent 911 evaluations for LOS; only one-third included urine cultures. UTI was diagnosed in 8.5% of VLBW infants (range 2–15.9%) and in 13.8% of infants weighing < 1000 g at birth. Gram-negative infections predominated. Concomitant blood cultures were negative in 96% of infants. UTI was more common than bloodstream infection by 2015.


UTI is a significant cause of infection in VLBW infants. Urine culture should be included in all LOS evaluations in order to facilitate accurate diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic therapy.

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Author information


  1. Division of Neonatology, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA

    • Caitlin M. Drumm
    •  & Jayashree Ramasethu
  2. Department of Pediatrics, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA

    • Javedan N. Siddiqui
  3. Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics, Medstar Health Research Institute, Hyattsville, MD, USA

    • Sameer Desale


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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Caitlin M. Drumm.

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