Prevalence of newborn bacterial meningitis and sepsis during the pregnancy period for public health care system participants in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil


Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases




Bacterial meningitis is still a major public health threat inside developing countries. In Brazil, the Department of Public Health estimates that the prevalence of bacterial meningitis is 22 cases per 100,000 persons. During the neonatal period, the bacterial meningitis develops special characteristics that can result in hearing problems and movement loss due to neurological and psychological damages. This study had the aim to analyze the prevalence of bacterial meningitis and sepsis in newborns during the pregnancy period for those using the public health care system in Salvador-Bahia. One of the goal was to describe the risk factors of bacterial meningitis and sepsis in newborns. A second goal was to identify, based on newborn health records, the difficulties to predict issues with the hearing, neurological and psychological problems. This study has a cross-sectional design. The newborns that were included in this study had bacterial meningitis or sepsis within 0-28 days of life. They were admitted in the maternity wards between June-December 2005 at the newborn intensive unit care. We analyzed 72 reports of newborns and only 11 (17%) were bacterial meningitis or sepsis newborn cases. These cases were associated to high intake of ototoxic drugs that can cause oto and nephrotoxicity, and cause serious sequels on the child development. Nervous system infection is one of the 2 major problems in clinical practice, especially during the first month after birth. During this first month, the nervous system infection develops special characteristics, which are different from regular symptoms and it requires treatment due to the increased risk to develop complications. It is strongly recommended to monitor ototoxic drugs use to prevent effects on the hearing system.

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