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British researchers found bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in almost half of all babies who died of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) at a London hospital. Reviewing autopsy findings on 546 infants (ages 7 to 365 days) who died suddenly and unexpectedly between 1996 and 2005, they found that significantly more cultures from infants whose deaths were unexplained contained S. aureus or E. coli. They say that the high rate of detection of these two pathogens suggests that the bacteria could be associated with SUDI.

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Source: Weber MA, et al., Infection and sudden unexpected death in infancy: A systematic retrospective case review, Lancet, May 31, 2008.