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Klebsiella pneumoniae Bloodstream Infections Among Neonates in a High-Risk Nursery in Cali, Colombia

  • Chesley Richards (a1) (a2), Juan Alonso-Echanove (a1) (a2), Yolanda Caicedo (a3) and William R. Jarvis (a1)



To determine the cause of an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infections (BSIs) among neonates in a high-risk nursery and to institute control measures.


During the on-site investigation, a cohort study to identify risk factors for K. pneumoniae BSI, a point-prevalence study to assess K. pneumoniae colonization, a maternal cohort study to determine maternal K. pneumoniae colonization, and an observational study to evaluate healthcare worker (HCW) compliance with infection control practices were conducted.

Patients And Setting:

Neonates in a 40-bed high-risk nursery in a 700-bed university hospital in Cali, Colombia.


Cohorting of neonates colonized with K. pneumoniae.


The overall K. pneumoniae BSI attack rate was 10 of 105 (9.5%). In the retrospective cohort study, the number of blood transfusions (OR, 3.1 per transfusion; P = .02; CI95,1.4–9.7) and intravenous injections (OR, 1.2 per injection; P = .04; CI95, 1.0–1.5) were independently associated with K. pneumoniae BSI. The overall prevalence of K. pneumoniae colonization was 61% among neonates and 7% among mothers. During the HCW assessment, suboptimal intravenous therapy practices were observed. A cohorting intervention resulted in a significant reduction in K. pneumoniae colonization (12% vs 61%; RR, 0.19; P < .001). During the intervention period, no K. pneumoniae BSIs occurred.


This investigation suggested that the outbreak probably occurred due to widespread colonization and suboptimal infection control and intravenous therapy practices. Cohorting successfully reduced the overall prevalence of K. pneumoniae colonization and, along with improved infection control practices, probably prevented K. pneumoniae BSIs.


Corresponding author

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop E-55, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333


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