Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs decrease antibiotic initiation at birth


ASP treatment lowered the presence of sepsis risk factors in preterm infants.

Neonatal Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs) can decrease antibiotic initiation at birth, according to a recent study published by the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Early-onset sepsis is a condition which leads to greater chances of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. ASPs are put into place for high-risk infants to mediate the adverse effects of antibiotic exposure with the need for empiric treatment.

In the study, preterm infants with a gestational age of less than 34 weeks were reviewed 6 months after ASP was implemented. The review consisted of comparisons for the presence of perinatal sepsis risk factors, along with the effectiveness of initial empiric antibiotics treatment.

There were 479 infants involved in the study, with an average gestational age of 30 weeks and a birth weight of 1400 g.

In the pre-ASP infants, there was a 73.6% presence of sepsis risk factors, while post-ASP infants had a 68.4% presence of sepsis risk factors. Initial antibiotics were not given to 42% of infants despite risk factors, while 20% did not have perinatal sepsis risk factors and were not treated.

Investigators encouraged neonatal ASP teams to think about the dangers of antibiotic use.


Stritzke A, Tierney A, Keister F, Srivastava A, Dersch-Mills D, Hamilton C. Antimicrobialstewardship at birth in preterm infants. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2022;41(5)394-400. doi:10.1097/INF.0000000000003462

This article originally appeared on Contemporary Pediatrics®.

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