Objective: To compare the spectrum and quantity of ocular florae in neonates of mothers with Prolonged
Labour (PL) and those of mothers with Normal Labour (NL) delivered at the University Teaching Hospital
(UTH) in Lusaka.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: University Teaching Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (labour ward).
Subjects: One hundred and thirty two mother baby pairs.
Results: One hundred and thirty two subjects were enrolled and analysed in equal arms of 66 for PL and NL.
Positive conjunctiva culture results were 28.8% in neonates of mothers with PL and 21.2% in those of mothers
with NL (p-value 0.315). Neonates of mothers with PL had positive culture results with a relative risk of 1.50
(0.68-3.33). A higher colony count was demonstrated in neonates of mothers with PL though not statistically
significant (p-value 0.415). The most frequently isolated organism in NL was Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus
(CNS) where as in PL it was E.coli and Strep viridans (co-existing).
Conclusion: Neonates of mothers with PL had a higher incidence of positive cultures than those of mothers
with NL. This difference was however not clinically significant. Mothers with PL were on systemic antibiotics
which may have influenced the conjunctival culture result and overall colony counts.
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