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Prompt antibiotic treatment for infants with sepsis has the potential to save lives. A rectal formulation of an antibiotic could be used at a village level before referral to hospital. The development of such a preparation needs to take into account the rectal pH of infants that will affect drug partitioning and absorption. Rectal pH measurements were taken in 100 well and 45 unwell infants. We also measured rectal pH in 14 infants sequentially over the course of their illness. The mean rectal pH was 6.75 with no significant difference in well or unwell infants. The mean (95% CI) rectal pH of well neonates was significantly lower than that of older infants (>28 days): 6.47 (6.29-6.65) vs. 6.90 (6.68 to 7.12) p = 0.003.

Original publication




Journal article


J Trop Pediatr

Publication Date





311 - 313


Anti-Bacterial Agents, Case-Control Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Rectum, Reference Values, Sepsis, Thailand