Does increasing concentration and frequency of applying CHG antiseptic to babies’ skin lead to a reduction in bacterial growth and does the addition of a skin softener improve the skin condition and safety of applying CHG?

Efficacy and safety of whole-body chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) cleansing in reducing bacterial skin colonisation of hospitalised neonates: A pilot trial

What is this study about?

Neonatal sepsis is a substantial cause of neonatal mortality especially in low and middle income settings. A substantial proportion of these infections are healthcare associated due to transfer of pathogenic bacteria in hospital environments so new prevention strategies are urgently needed to achieve global reductions in neonatal mortality. Antiseptics such has chlorhexidine (CHG), reduce the bacterial load on the skin and may reduce the risk of neonatal sepsis and thereby reduce neonatal mortality. CHG is commonly used for skin disinfection in neonates for invasive procedures and so wider application could potentially prevent colonisation with multi resistant hospital acquired organisms. In addition it is thought that emollients may act as a barrier to bacterial invasion and the potential benefit and safety of combining chlorhexidine with an emollient, potentially reducing both bacterial colonisation and invasion, has not been explored. The aim of this study is to look at the change in skin bacterial load for different concentrations of CHG with or without the application of emollient.

Contact details

Who is funding the study?

MRC/NIHR/DfID/Wellcome Joint Global Health Trials Call 9 - Trial Development Grant

When is it taking place?

2020 - 2022

Where is it taking place?

Bangladesh and South Africa

Who is included?

Low birth weight newborn babies who are in hospital