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A large study focusing on newborn babies with clinically diagnosed sepsis has revealed the impact of antibiotic resistance on neonatal sepsis, a major cause of death in newborns.

At the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) has released a second wave of findings from its study on the outcomes of more than 3,200 newborns with neonatal sepsis, a life-threatening bloodstream infection that affects up to 3 million babies a year. The study shows that an increasing number of babies die of resistant infections as the current treatments have become ineffective.

The observational study, conducted by GARDP and key partners from 2018 to 2020, was carried out at 19 hospitals in 11 high-, middle- and low-income countries across four continents. It assessed which antibiotics are currently being used to treat newborns suffering from sepsis, and to what extent resistance makes these treatments ineffective. The aim of the study was to inform the development of improved antibiotic treatment regimens for neonatal sepsis worldwide.

Overall, 11% of newborns with suspected neonatal sepsis died across hospitals and regions during the study period. This increased to 18% in newborns where a pathogen was detected in their blood culture. Overall the mortality varied markedly between hospitals, ranging from 1% to 27%.

To read more about the study and its findings visit the GARDP website: