Early-Onset Neonatal Sepsis Caused by Vertical Transmission of Pasteurella multocida

Johannah M. Scheurer, Meghan L. Fanta, Gretchen A. Colbenson, Sophie Arbefeville, Patricia Ferrieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early-onset neonatal sepsis contributes substantially to neonatal morbidity and mortality. Presenting signs and symptoms vary, and most causes are due to a limited number of common microbes. However, providers must be cognizant of unusual pathogens when treating early-onset sepsis (EOS). We report a case of a term neonate who presented with respiratory distress, lethargy, and hypoglycemia 5 hours after birth. He was treated for presumed EOS with blood culture, revealing an unusual pathogen, Pasteurella multocida. Sepsis from this pathogen is a rarely reported cause of early onset neonatal sepsis. Our report is one of few that implicate vertical transmission with molecular diagnostic confirmation of P. multocida, subspecies septica. The neonate was treated with antibiotics and supportive care and recovered without ongoing complications. Providers should maintain an index of suspicion for rare causes of neonatal EOS. For these unusual cases, precise microbial identification enables understanding to provide best clinical care and anticipation of complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E123-E126
JournalAJP Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 21 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank staff from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Microbiology Laboratory at University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital for all their work, particularly in caring for this patient.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved.


  • Pasteurella multocida
  • early-onset sepsis
  • gene sequencing
  • neonate
  • vertical transmission

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Case Reports


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