Umbilical cord blood culture versus peripheral venous blood culture in early onset neonatal sepsis

Sanjay Mandot, Jeetendra S. Gandhi


Background: Neonatal sepsis is a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Blood culture and sensitivity is gold standard for the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis. Low sensitivity of blood culture especially in newborn is due to small volume of blood sample collected from neonates and antibiotics given before sampling. The aim was to evaluate the use of umbilical cord blood culture in the diagnosis of early onset neonatal sepsis as compared to Peripheral vein blood culture.       

Methods: Eighty neonates with two or more risk factors for early onset neonatal sepsis were included in the study. Blood samples were collected from umbilical cord and peripheral vein for culture. Sepsis screen was done to corroborate the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis.

Results: Sepsis screen was positive in twenty three babies. Among these four had grown organism on Umbilical cord blood culture only. While two babies had both positive, Umbilical cord bloods culture and peripheral vein blood culture. Organisms grown on culture were E.Coli, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella and Acinetobacter.

Conclusions: Umbilical cord blood culture is simple and convenient method for the diagnosis of early onset neonatal sepsis compared to peripheral venous blood culture. Organisms grown are comparable to peripheral venous blood culture sample.


Neonatal sepsis, Peripheral vein blood culture, Sepsis Screen, Umbilical cord blood culture

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