Neonatal sepsis is a serious condition in which bacteria and other germs enter the body and cause an infection in a neonate's bloodstream, in the setting of fever. Neonatal sepsis has two categories: early-onset sepsis (EOS) and late-onset sepsis (LOS). EOS refers to sepsis presenting in the first 3 days of life. EOS is usually caused by Group B Streptococci or Escherichia coli, usually presenting itself as pneumonia. On the other hand, LOS presents itself after 3 days. LOS is usually caused by Staphylococcus and commonly manifests itself as meningitis.
Symptoms of neonatal sepsis may depend on the category, but they commonly include fever, irritability, difficulty feeding, and a poor overall appearance. In severe cases, neonatal sepsis can lead to organ failure and death.
Treatment for neonatal sepsis typically involves antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection and supportive care, such as intravenous fluids, respiratory support, and medications to control symptoms like fever.