NeoIPC launches new surveillance toolkit to bolster infection prevention and control efforts in NICUs 

November 9, 2023

Padua, Italy – 9th November 2023

The NeoIPC Consortium is proud to announce the launch of a new surveillance toolkit to help neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) track and prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) in high-risk newborns, including very preterm infants. This toolkit, which is available free of charge online, provides NICUs with essential tools to collect data on infection rates and risk factors and make evidence-based decisions about their infection prevention and control (IPC) strategies. 

HAIs pose a significant threat to newborn babies, especially very preterm infants and those with very low birth weight”, says Dr Brar Piening, Senior Physician at the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany) who heads the team developing the NeoIPC surveillance toolkit. “Routine HAI surveillance is a critical component of IPC, and the NeoIPC toolkit streamlines the implementation of this important practice for NICUs. 

The NeoIPC surveillance system is based on standardised definitions and data collection methods, making it easy for NICUs to compare their data with benchmarking data generated from other participating NICUs in the same region and around the world. 

It has been developed in the context of the EU Horizon 2020-funded project NeoIPC, which is led by the University of Padua and the Penta Foundation (Italy). NeoIPC aims to evaluate the effectiveness of kangaroo care in combination with HAI surveillance and implementation support in reducing severe neonatal infections and sepsis in hospitalised newborns. 

The NeoIPC surveillance toolkit is the result of many months of intense work and collaboration among NeoIPC partners”, Dr Julia Bielicki, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Neonatal and Paediatric Infection of St George’s, University of London (United Kingdom), Penta ID Network member and NeoIPC Project Coordinator emphasises. “We are excited to make this toolkit available to NICUs around the world, and we hope that it will help to improve IPC practices and to reduce the incidence of HAIs in newborns.” 

The toolkit has been developed by researchers with longstanding experience in surveillance and neonatology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany); St George’s, University of London (United Kingdom); Osakidetza – Servicio Vasco de Salud (Spain); and Stellenbosch University (South Africa). 

Through the NeoIPC surveillance system, NICUs will collect data about high-risk infants, including their birth weight, gestational age, length of NICU stay, and the use of invasive devices such as central vascular catheters or ventilation support. They will also monitor occurrences of common types of hospital-acquired infections, namely bloodstream infections, pneumonia, surgical site infections, and necrotizing enterocolitis. 

The NeoIPC surveillance system will be piloted in 24 NICUs across Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom in 2024. All materials are available free of charge on the NeoIPC website for any NICU planning to participate in the NeoIPC surveillance or to establish their own HAI surveillance programme. 

Update: To launch the NeoIPC surveillance toolkit, the NeoIPC Clinical Practice Network has hosted an online webinar on Thursday, 23rd November 2023. This informative webinar was open to clinicians and practitioners interested in surveillance and IPC methods. Watch the recording and download the slide set.



Notes for editors

About NeoIPC 

NeoIPC is a project that seeks to foster infection prevention and control research and implementation in the high-risk setting of neonatal intensive care. NeoIPC will achieve this through engaging units in an innovative approach towards the evaluation and implementation of IPC measures to reduce resistant bacterial infection in this setting. For more information, visit 

Project partners are: Fondazione Penta ETS, Italy; Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy; St George’s, University of London, United Kingdom; Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, The Netherlands; Universität Zürich, Switzerland; Universitäts-Kinderspital beider Basel, Switzerland; Tartu Ulikool, Estonia; Schweizerisches Tropen und Public Health Institut, Switzerland; Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis, Greece; Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium; Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany; Osakidetza – Servicio Vasco de Salud, Spain; Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 965328. The contents of this press release are the sole responsibility of NeoIPC and no not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.

About the NeoIPC
surveillance toolkit 

The NeoIPC surveillance toolkit has been developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts from NeoIPC partner institutions: 

  • Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin: Brar Piening, Gizem Karadağ 
  • St George’s, University of London: Paul Heath 
  • Osakidetza – Servicio Vasco de Salud: José Ignacio Pijoan Zubizarreta, Begoña Loureiro González, Javier Pérez López
  • Stellenbosch University: Angela Dramowski, Adrie Bekker 

 The NeoIPC surveillance materials are available at: 

About the University of Padua – Department of Women and Children’s Health  

The University of Padua’s Department of Women and Children’s Health was established with the goal of providing care for women, newborns, children and adolescents. By combining medical expertise and specialised research, the department has grown to become a national and international centre of excellence. Its institutional aims are the care and well-being of patients, as well as the clinical care integrated with teaching, scientific research and training activities necessary for students, residents and operators to master paediatric and obstetric-gynaecological skills. The Department aims to deliver the best surgical, clinical, and academic programmes both at a national and international level. This is the core mission motivating our team of professionals determined to work in an integrated and multidisciplinary way, in order to achieve effective results for patients and ensure a positive experience for those dealing with their own or their child’s illness. A mission that focuses on the value of human relationships and expresses a sense of common good, putting women and children at the heart of its action. 

About Penta 

Penta is an international independent scientific network devoted to advancing research on optimising the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases in children, globally. More than 30 years since its creation, Penta is today one of the most prominent scientific organisations dedicated to research on maternal and childhood infections, such as HIV and viral infections, fungal infections, respiratory infections, and severe bacterial infections. 

About St George’s, University of London 

St George’s, University of London is the UK’s specialist health university. We are shaping modern health with transformative research, expert teaching and hands-on learning. 

All three of our research institutes focus on biomedical and scientific discovery, advancing the prevention and treatment of disease in the fields of population health, heart disease and infection – three of the greatest challenges to global health in the 21st century. 

We provide world-class multi-professional health sciences education that equips our graduates to meet today’s healthcare needs through relevant scientific research, clinical excellence, strong interpersonal skills and team-based working. Sharing a clinical environment with a major London teaching hospital, our innovative approach to education results in well-rounded, highly skilled clinicians, scientists, and health and social care professionals. 

About Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin 

With more than 100 departments and institutes across four campuses and 3,099 beds, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of Europe’s largest university medical centers. At Charité, the areas of research, teaching, and medical and patient care are closely interconnected. Averaging about 18,200 employees Charité-wide and some 21,600 across the entire group of companies, Berlin’s university medicine organization remained one of the capital city’s largest employers in 2022. More than 5,000 of those employees worked in nursing, over 5,200 in research and medicine, and more than 1,300 in administrative roles. Last year, Charité provided care for more than 126,000 inpatients and day case patients and about 736,900 outpatients. Charité posted approximately 2.3 billion euros in turnover in 2022, including external funding inflows and investment grants. Charité set a new record for external funding, at about 284 million euros. About 9,500 students are enrolled in programs in medicine, dentistry, health care sciences, and nursing here, at one of Germany’s largest medical schools. More than 800 traineeships in 12 healthcare professions and eight other professions are offered as well.  

Contact information

 For media inquiries and further information, please contact Francesca Mazzetto, Penta Senior Communications Manager,