Columbia: Citrobacter freundii associated with deaths of infants at Seoul hospital

A Seoul, S. Korea hospital is investigating the deaths of 4 infants within the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), based on the Korean Cdc (KCDC).


In mid-December, antibiotic resistant Citrobacter freundii was discovered in bloodstream cultures obtained from the 3 infants just before their deaths at the Ewha Womans College Mokdong Hospital, as well as their genetic sequence was discovered to be identical a few days later.

Not much later, KCDC announced the same bacteria was confirmed within the administered total parenteral diet (TPN) injections, that is provided to infants who find it difficult eating to supply necessary nutrients.

Five from 16 infants received the injections, leading to four deaths.

The injections were administered utilizing a central venous line, suggesting the chance that they were contaminated within their preparation.

“Combining the outcomes from the epidemiological analysis through the Korea Cdc and Prevention and individuals from the autopsies through the National Forensic Service, we’ve figured that the 4 newborns died of sepsis, brought on by contamination with Citrobacter freundii,” the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency stated.

Law enforcement stated they’d book five medical employees on charges of involuntary wrongful death. The 2 nurses allegedly infringed around the duty of infection control while handling the injection of nutrient supplements. A chief nurse, a professional, as well as an attending physician apparently breached the job of guide and supervision of these two nurses.

Additionally, rotavirus was confirmed in ecological samples (incubator, blankets, etc.) in the NICU and samples from nine from the 12 infants. Eight from the nine infections had exactly the same genetic sequence (one pending). KCDC is carefully monitoring the health of the infants.


Citrobacter freundii bacteria cultivated on a blood agar plate (BAP). Image/CDCCitrobacter freundii bacteria cultivated on the bloodstream agar plate (BAP).