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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) submandibular abscess in a neonate
  1. Natalia Glibbery1,
  2. Theodore Gouliouris2 and
  3. Jessica Bewick1
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Otolaryngology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Clinical Microbiology and Public Health Laboratory, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Natalia Glibbery; nat.glibbery{at}


Neonatal suppurative submandibular sialadenitis and abscess formation is an exceedingly rare entity. This report describes a complex case of a male neonate with a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) submandibular abscess, requiring emergency intubation due to acute airway compromise. The patient was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit, received appropriate antibiotic treatment and underwent urgent surgical drainage of the abscess. He made a full recovery and remains well 18 months later. No comorbidities or common risk factors for the disease were identified. Although extremely uncommon, neonatal submandibular abscesses can lead to significant morbidity. Neonates tend to present insidiously, and sudden clinical deterioration with airway compromise is possible. MRSA has been increasingly implicated in these infections, even in the absence of relevant risk factors. As such, continued clinical vigilance is essential for prompt diagnosis and prevention of life-threatening complications. Multidisciplinary input is paramount for appropriate management of these complex infections.

  • otolaryngology / ENT
  • head and neck surgery
  • infections
  • neonatal and paediatric intensive care

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  • Contributors JB was the lead consultant involved in the care of the patient and supervised the manuscript production. NG took the lead in writing the manuscript, with support from TG and JB. NG, TG and JB have approved the final version of the manuscript submitted for publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer-reviewed.