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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review discusses the rational development of guidelines for the management of neonatal sepsis in developing countries. RECENT FINDINGS: Diagnosis of neonatal sepsis with high specificity remains challenging in developing countries. Aetiology data, particularly from rural, community-based studies, are very limited, but molecular tests to improve diagnostics are being tested in a community-based study in South Asia. Antibiotic susceptibility data are limited, but suggest reducing susceptibility to first-and second-line antibiotics in both hospital and community-acquired neonatal sepsis. Results of clinical trials in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa assessing feasibility of simplified antibiotic regimens are awaited. SUMMARY: Effective management of neonatal sepsis in developing countries is essential to reduce neonatal mortality and morbidity. Simplified antibiotic regimens are currently being examined in clinical trials, but reduced antimicrobial susceptibility threatens current empiric treatment strategies. Improved clinical and microbiological surveillance is essential, to inform current practice, treatment guidelines, and monitor implementation of policy changes.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Infect Dis

Publication Date





225 - 230


Anti-Bacterial Agents, Community-Acquired Infections, Developing Countries, Feasibility Studies, Humans, Infant, Infant Mortality, Infant, Newborn, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Sentinel Surveillance, Sepsis, Treatment Outcome