9. Acquired Neonatal Infections

  1. Alan D. Irvine MD, FRCPI, FRCP4,5,
  2. Peter H. Hoeger MD6,7 and
  3. Albert C. Yan MD, FAAP, FAAD8,9
  1. Nico G. Hartwig MD, PhD1,
  2. Arnold P. Oranje MD, PhD1,
  3. Dirk Van Gysel MD, PhD2 and
  4. Marinus C. G. van Praag3

Published Online: 24 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444345384.ch9

Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition

Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition

How to Cite

Hartwig, N. G., Oranje, A. P., Van Gysel, D. and van Praag, M. C. G. (2011) Acquired Neonatal Infections, in Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition (eds A. D. Irvine, P. H. Hoeger and A. C. Yan), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444345384.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

  2. 5

    Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

  3. 6

    University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

  4. 7

    Catholic Children's Hospital Wilhelmstift, Hamburg, Germany

  5. 8

    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

  6. 9

    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus MC, Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    Department of Pediatrics, O.L. Vrouw Hospital, Aalst, Belgium

  3. 3

    Department of Dermatology, Saint Franciscus Gasthuis, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 MAY 2011
  2. Published Print: 3 JUN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405176958

Online ISBN: 9781444345384



  • acquired;
  • neonatal;
  • infections;
  • fetal


Before birth, the fetus is living and developing in the sterile environment of the womb. The fetus is protected against infection by mechanical barriers like placenta and membranes and it benefits from maternal immunity. At birth, the newborn is readily colonized with micro-organisms of the birth canal and is confronted with a range of micro-organisms in the outside world. From that time onward, the neonate has to rely on the function of the immune system with additional protection of the mucous membranes and skin as essential barriers against hostile micro-organisms.

Common neonatal infections are listed in Table 9.1. Most of these topics are discussed extensively in other chapters as well.

In the neonatal period, defined as the age from birth to 4 weeks, acquired infections usually present with systemic symptoms and can lead to serious sequelae. The skin is frequently involved and may show petechiae, purpura, vesicles, pustules or a maculopapular rash. Many different micro-organisms may be associated (Table 9.2) although staphylococcal infections are most prominent.