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Streptococcus, Group B

Abstract

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Synonyms of Streptococcus, Group B

  • GBS
  • Group B Streptococcal Septicemia of the Newborn
  • Lancefield Group B Streptococcus
  • Sepsis of the Newborn
  • Streptococcus Agalactiae

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Adult Onset Streptococcus, Group B
  • Infant Early-Onset Streptococcus, Group B
  • Infant Late-Onset Streptococcus, Group B

General Discussion

Group B streptococcus (group B strep) is a type of bacteria that causes infection among newborns, pregnant women or women after childbirth, females after gynecologic surgery, and older male and female patients with other serious diseases.

Group B strep remains the most common cause among newborns (neonates) of infection of the blood (septicemia) and of the brain (meningitis). The responsible bacterium, usually S. agalactiae, may be found most often in the vagina and rectum of females and may be transmitted sexually, as well as to a fetus as the infant passes through the birth canal.

Group B strep infection of newborns may be prevented by giving pregnant women who are carriers antibiotics through the vein (intravenously) during labor. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that any pregnant woman who has had a baby with group B strep disease in the past, who has a bladder (urinary tract) infection caused by group B strep, or who tests positive for group B strep during pregnancy should receive antibiotics during labor.

Prevention and prompt treatment are important because group B strep infections may become life-threatening among newborns.

GBS disease is said to be early onset if it is obvious within the first week of life. It is said to be late onset if the disease is evident after the first week of life and before the end of the first three months. Those at greatest risk of GBS disease are newborn children of infected mothers, women after childbirth, females after gynecologic surgery and older male and female patients with other serious diseases.

Organizations related to Streptococcus, Group B

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