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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 120139, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/120139
Review Article

How Can the Microbiologist Help in Diagnosing Neonatal Sepsis?

Unit of Microbiology, Department of Haematology and Oncology “L. e A. Seràgnoli”, University of Bologna, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy

Received 23 June 2011; Revised 15 September 2011; Accepted 29 November 2011

Academic Editor: Paul T. Heath

Copyright © 2012 Michela Paolucci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Neonatal sepsis can be classified into two subtypes depending upon whether the onset of symptoms is before 72 hours of life (early-onset neonatal sepsis—EONS) or later (late-onset neonatal sepsis—LONS). These definitions have contributed greatly to diagnosis and treatment by identifying which microorganisms are likely to be responsible for sepsis during these periods and the expected outcomes of infection. This paper focuses on the tools that microbiologist can offer to diagnose and eventually prevent neonatal sepsis. Here, we discuss the advantages and limitation of the blood culture, the actual gold standard for sepsis diagnosis. In addition, we examine the utility of molecular techniques in the diagnosis and management of neonatal sepsis.