August 1974

Epidemiological Aspects of Neonatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Author Affiliations

From the St. Paul Children's Hospital Newborn Center, and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(2):186-190. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110270060012

Detailed attempts to isolate pathogens were made during an apparent epidemic outbreak of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). In addition, all cases of infants with this disease since 1964 were reviewed for comparison with the present outbreak. Efforts were made to determine a transmissible cause. No bacteria, virus, or fungus common to the infants involved in the outbreak was isolated. Neither could any other transmissible cause be implicated. It appears that the organisms involved in NEC are normal bowel flora that enter the peritoneum and blood stream through an altered gut mucosa.