Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Globally, young infant mortality comprises 40% of the estimated 10.8 million child deaths annually. Almost all (99%) of these deaths arise in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Achievement of the Millennium Development Goal for child survival, however, requires a significant improvement in the management of infections in young infants. We have reviewed current evidence from LMICs on one major cause of young infant mortality, severe infection, and have described the range of pathogens, reported antibiotic susceptibility and value of clinical signs in identifying severe bacterial illness. Evidence from the reviewed studies appears to show that common pathogens in young infant infections change over time and vary within and across settings. However, there are few good, large studies outside major urban settings and many reports describe infections of babies born in hospital when most young infant infections probably occur in the majority born at home. Yet what knowledge there is can aid in instituting prompt and appropriate therapy, and perhaps thus minimize the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteraemia, a major threat at least in hospital settings. Improved country level data on pattern of microorganisms, resistance and antibiotic use are required to help reduce mortality through development of local, evidence-based clinical guidelines.

Original publication




Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





959 - 966


Age Factors, Child, Community-Acquired Infections, Cross Infection, Diagnostic Tests, Routine, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Humans, Infant, Infant Mortality, Poverty Areas, Quality of Health Care, Sepsis