Neonatal Mastitis: A Clinico-Microbiological Study


  • Talat Masoodi
  • Gowhar Nazir Mufti
  • Javeed Iqbal Bhat
  • Rubina Lone
  • Syed Arshi
  • Syed Khurshid Ahmad



Mastitis, Neonate


OBJECTIVE: Neonatal breast hypertrophy is a common phenomenon in term infants, superadded infection can lead to mastitis and that can progress to breast abscess with short and long term detrimental effects. Our effort is to study the prevalence, risk factors, the current microbial profile and sensitivity pattern in these infections in order to suggest an optimal treatment plan for these patients.

DESIGN: Case series.

SETTING: Hospital based study conducted in Kashmir on the native population.

DURATION: 2011 to 2013.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 32 neonates with features of mastitis or abscess were included in the study. Demographic and clinical data, laboratory work-up were recorded for all these patients in a patient form. Gram stain of the purulent nipple discharge or pus obtained on drainage was done and the specimens were culture plated. Antibiotic sensitivity was determined by disk diffusion and categorized by current Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines.

RESULTS: Most babies were full term, the age range was 6-48 days. Peak incidence for mastitis was in the 2nd week and for abscess in the 4th week. The ratio of male: female was 1:2 in the entire group, there was greater preponderance of female involvement with increasing age. Massage for expression of secretions a common practice in the study population had been done in 15 patients, especially in male babies. The babies were generally well and associated skin pustulosis was common. Laboratory workup showed polymorphonuclear leucocytosis and CRP positivity.

Gram staining showed gram positive cocci in 13 patients and gram negative rods in 1 patient. Culture revealed Staphylococcus aureus in 18, E.col in 2, klebsiella in 1 patient and was sterile in 2 patients. Most strains of Staphylococcus aureus were resistant to macrolides and penicillins. Fifteen were methicillin sensitive and 3 were resistant but were sensitive to amikacin, ofloxacin and vancomycin. Gram negative rods were sensitive to, aminoglycosides, chloramphenicol, quinolones, piperacillin-tazobactum and cefoperazone-sulbactum, but were resistant to cephalosporins including third generation cephalosporins.

Treatment with oral antibiotic was not successful. Patients responded well to open drainage via a stab incision away from the breast mound; 4 patients were managed by repeated needle aspirations. IV antibiotics were prescribed in all patients for 2-5 days, followed by oral continuation therapy of 7-14 days.

CONCLUSIONS: From our study, we can conclude that parental counseling to avoid massage, and early treatment for pustulosis is important to prevent mastitis. Intravenous antibiotics should be used for this condition guided by gram stain or culture sensitivity once available. Empirically a drug with good anti-staph cover may be instituted till appropriate reports are available. Incision drainage gives uniformly good results, though; multiple sittings of needle drainage may obviate the need for incision drainage. Therapy can be shifted to oral drugs once clinical improvement is seen.


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How to Cite

Masoodi T, Mufti GN, Bhat JI, Lone R, Arshi S, Ahmad SK. Neonatal Mastitis: A Clinico-Microbiological Study. J Neonatal Surg [Internet]. 2014Jan.5 [cited 2021Oct.19];3(1):2. Available from: