Pediatr Surg Int. 2021 Sep 29. doi: 10.1007/s00383-021-05026-6. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: In pediatric surgery, the umbilicus with humid environment prone to bacterial colonization has become the most common site of entrance into the peritoneum. However, the umbilical flora in children has never been reported. This study aimed to describe the characteristics of umbilical microflora in children before antiseptic skin preparation.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We prospectively reviewed all children (age, ≤ 15 years) undergoing surgical procedures using umbilical access between April 2020 and June 2021. Before antiseptic skin preparation, culture swabs were taken from the umbilicus. Data on age, sex, and surgical procedure as well as microflora results and clinical findings were analyzed.
RESULTS: Overall, data on 123 children aged between 9 days and 15 years (median: 3 years) were obtained. In the umbilicus, the most frequent colonizing bacteria were coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species and Corynebacterium. The isolation of intestinal bacteria from children aged ≤ 3 years was significantly increased (P = 0.03). The results of the multidrug resistance test revealed that the bacteria from the umbilicus exhibited a high frequency of cefazolin (CEZ) resistance (46.1%). No postoperative surgical site infection was recorded in our study.
CONCLUSIONS: This prospective study is the first report to investigate the umbilical microflora in over 100 children. In this study, a large spectrum of both resident and transient microflora was cultured from the umbilicus. This umbilical microflora was similar to previous reports of adult microflora except in children aged ≤ 3 years. Our data suggest that in children ≤ 3 years, preoperative and postoperative antibiotics should be chosen by considering CEZ resistance and intestinal bacteria. The result of umbilical microflora would be useful to select the antibiotics for treatment of surgical site infection (SSI), and the culture swabs from the umbilicus before the operation for the children at high risk for SSI are highly recommended.