Early umbilical bacterial colonization in relation to blood culture in neonates admitted to two neonatal intensive care units in Khartoum City, Sudan


  • Nahid Sharafuddin MA Abbadi Sudan Medical Specialization Board, Khartoum, Sudan
  • Salah A Ibrahim Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum. . Khartoum, Sudan.
  • Osama Sharafeldin MA Abbadi Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of medicine, Omdurman Islamic University, Omdurman, Sudan.


Background: Umbilical colonization has long been used as an indicator of early neonatal infections.
Factors related to the mother, baby or the environment has been involved in the acquirement of colonizers
and even developing neonatalsepsislater on. Thisstudy aimed to assessthe relation between early umbilical
bacterial colonization and blood culture in neonates admitted to two Neonatal Intensive Care Units in
Khartoum City, Sudan.
Materials and Methods: Eighty neonatessuspected to have sepsis were included in the study. Umbilical
swabs were taken in the first twelve hours of life and were sent for culture. The results were then compared
to the results of blood cultures to find if there was any matching between the grown organisms. Neonates’
and mothers’ information were obtained by an interview and documented in data collection sheets.
Results: Umbilical colonization was present in 20% (n=16) of the study population while 21.25% (n=17)
had positive blood cultures. Of the colonized group, Staphylococcus aureus was the commonest organism
isolated (n=6, 37.5%), followed by Pseudomonas spp. (n=3, 18.8%) and Klebsiella spp. (n=2, 12.5%).
While in those with positive blood culture Pseudomonas spp. predominated (n=7, 41.2%).followed by
klebsiella spp. (n=5, 29.4%) and Staphylococcus aureus (n=3, 17.6%); 58.8% (n=47) of the patients had no
growth in swabs or blood cultures, while positive results showed no matching (p value=0.009).
Conclusion: Umbilical swab culture had a negative predictive value of 81% for early neonatal (blood
culture positive) infection, 36% positive predictive value, specificity of 84% and sensitivity of 31%.
Therefore, in this study umbilical swab culture was a poor indicator for bacteraemia (sepsis) in the newborn.