Neonatal staphylococcal enterocolitis: Association with indwelling feeding catheters and S. aureus colonization

  • Laura T. Gutman
    Correspondence
    Reprint address: Department of Pediatrics, Box 3971, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N. C. 27710.
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N. C. USA

    Division of Human Resources, North Carolina Department of Public Health, Durham, N. C. USA
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  • Ziad H. Idriss
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N. C. USA

    Division of Human Resources, North Carolina Department of Public Health, Durham, N. C. USA
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  • Stephen Gehlbach
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N. C. USA

    Division of Human Resources, North Carolina Department of Public Health, Durham, N. C. USA
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  • Lillian Blackmon
    Affiliations
    Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N. C. USA

    Division of Human Resources, North Carolina Department of Public Health, Durham, N. C. USA
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      A prospective study of the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of four newborn infants who developed staphylococcal enterocolitis is reported. The four infants were fed with an indwelling nasoduodenal or gastric-feeding catheter which was passed through a nasal or gastrostomy site which was colonized by Staphylococcus aureus. All infants in whom this occurred developed disease or excreted S. aureus in their stool. Infants not fed by nasoduodenal or gastrostomy catheter or not colonized by S. aureus at the site of the feeding catheter did not develop this disease. The first case of this unusual disease occurred in a previously asymptomatic infant in whom signs of acute disease included ileus, leukopenia, shock, and diarrhea; a culture of the stool revealed S. aureus in pure growth. S. aureus of identical phage types was recovered from both feeding orifice and stool during of four episodes, but the infected infants were each colonized by strains of S. aureus of different phage patterns. No strain produced identifiable quantities of enterotoxin A-E.
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