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What causes neonatal sepsis?

Sepsis results from an infection, usually bacterial, that overloads the baby's immune system. Doctors distinguish between early- and late-onset neonatal sepsis, each of which has a different likely cause. Early-onset sepsis generally happens when the mother transfers bacteria to the fetus in utero or during childbirth. Group B streptococcus (GBS) and intestinal bacteria are common sources of the disease in this situation. Late-onset sepsis is more likely to come from the baby's surroundings, particularly if a hospital needs to perform other operations. In this case, staphylococci and E. coli are frequent culprits. Occasionally viral or fungal infections can also result in sepsis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.