Researchers have found that sudden infant death syndrome may be caused by common bacterial infections.
Bacteria to blame
In a large study of post-mortem examination data, doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London have found that E coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacterium may be to blame for sudden infant death sydrome (SIDS).
The doctors involved in the study found that about half of the cases they examined reported no known cause of death, but samples taken from the babies suggested otherwise they all contained bacteria. The most common bacteria identified were E coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This suggests that while these infections were more than likely found at the time of death, they were not thought to be responsible.
The next step, according to Neil Sebire, a paediatric pathologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital is to "investigate the patho-physiological mechanism involved in these cases".
Protecting your baby
The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths recommends making sure babies sleeps on their back, and making sure parents do not smoke around their children.