Effect of Topical Emollient Treatment of Preterm Neonates in Bangladesh on Invasion of Pathogens Into the Bloodstream

Gary L. Darmstadt, Samir K. Saha, A. S.M.Nawshad Uddin Ahmed, Yoonjoung Choi, M. A.K.Azad Chowdhury, Maksuda Islam, Paul A. Law, Saifuddin Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Topical emollient therapy may reduce the incidence of serious infections and mortality of preterm infants in developing countries. We tested whether emollient therapy reduced the burden of pathogens on skin and/or prevented bacterial translocation. Neonates “33 wk gestational age were randomized to treatment with sunflower seed oil (SSO) or Aquaphor or the untreated control group. Skin condition score and skin cultures were obtained at enrollment and on d 3, 7, and weekly thereafter, and blood cultures were obtained for episodes of suspected nosocomial sepsis. For analysis, blood cultures were paired with skin cultures obtained 03 d before the blood culture. Skin condition scores at 3 d were better in patients treated with either emollient compared with untreated controls; however, skin flora was similar across the groups. The SSO group showed a 72% elevated odds of having a false-positive (FP) skin culture associated with a negative blood culture (i.e.skin flora blocked from entry into blood) compared with the control group. Topical therapy with SSO reduced the passage of pathogens from the skin surface into the bloodstream of preterm infants. Abbreviations: FNfalse negative FPfalse positive SSOsunflower seed oil TPtrue positive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-593
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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