A study of the epidemiology of an endemic strain of staphylococcus haemolyticus (TOR-35) in a neonatal intensive care unit

Peter Kazembe, Andrew E. Simor, Ann E. Swarney, Larry G. Yap, Barry Kreiswirth, John Ng, Donald E. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are among the most prevalent microorganisms that colonize and cause sepsis in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). We had previously identified a strain of CNS, Staphylococcus haemolyticus (TOR-35), in the NICU at Mount Sinai Hospital, that had been repeatedly isolated from blood cultures from neonates. We therefore carried out a prospective study to determine the frequency and time of colonization and the frequency of bacteremia in neonates over a 3.5 month period. This was accomplished by obtaining surface swabs within 1 h of birth and on days 3, 5, and 7 and by characterizing all blood culture isolates of CNS. We also determined what percentage of neonatal CNS bacteremias were due to this strain, between Janary 1, 1987 and December 31, 1990, by retrieving and typing all stock cultures of CNS from that period. All isolates were typed by species identification and antimicrobial susceptibility profile code. There were 76 (38% neonates that became colonized with the TOR-35 strain at some time during their NICU stay. Lower birth weight was associated with colonization (p< 0.001), as was lower gestational age (p< 0.001). Only 1 neonate had a positive blood culture isolate for the TOR-35 strain during the prospective study. Of the 4 years of neonatal bacteremias that were studied retrospectively, there were 252 episodes of CNS bacteremia, of which 27 (11% were due to the TOR-35 strain. The TOR-35 strain has become endemic in our NICU and appears to selectively colonize premature, low birth weight newborn infants, but only infrequently causes bacteremia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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