23. Prevention of Neonatal Infections

  1. David Isaacs

Published Online: 22 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118636657.ch23

Evidence-Based Neonatal Infections

Evidence-Based Neonatal Infections

How to Cite

Isaacs, D. (2013) Prevention of Neonatal Infections, in Evidence-Based Neonatal Infections, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118636657.ch23

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 18 DEC 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470654606

Online ISBN: 9781118636657



  • breast milk;
  • hand hygiene compliance;
  • intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG);
  • maternal immunization;
  • neonatal infections;
  • prophylactic antibiotics;
  • umbilical cord care


This chapter discusses four different categories of intervention of neonatal infections: feed-related, infection control, physical environment and immunomodulatory agents. Lack of breast milk could be described as the commonest immune deficiency of infancy. In Western countries most of the reduction is in catheter-associated organism infections, although before-and-after studies suggest improved hand hygiene also reduces spread of virulent or multi-resistant colonizing pathogens and respiratory virus infections. A Cochrane systematic review of umbilical cord care found 21 studies mainly from high income countries. Umbilical infection was rare and not reported in most studies. A Cochrane systematic review of polyclonal intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to prevent neonatal infections identified 19 RCTs in 4986 pre-term or very low birth-weight infants. There was a significant reduction in one or more episodes of any bloodstream infection. The chapter also discusses immunizations such as maternal and neonatal immunization, and maternal and prophylactic antibiotics.