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Group B Streptococcus (Streptococcus agalactiae) 

Group B Streptococcus (Streptococcus agalactiae)
Chapter:
Group B Streptococcus (Streptococcus agalactiae)
Author(s):

Kirsty Le Doare

, Christine E. Jones

, and Paul T. Heath

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190604813.003.0019
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date: 15 September 2019

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of early neonatal infection and neonatal mortality, with long-term adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in up to 50% of survivors of GBS meningitis. GBS has a likely underappreciated role in causing preterm birth and stillbirth. GBS colonizes the vagina and gastrointestinal tract of the pregnant woman, and transmission to the infant occurs during or just before delivery. Although the majority of these infants do not develop invasive disease, maternal colonization is a prerequisite for early onset disease (0–6 days of life, most commonly associated with sepsis and respiratory distress) and a significant risk factor for late onset disease (7–89 days of life, most commonly associated with sepsis and meningitis). The introduction of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis has resulted in significant declines in the incidence of early onset disease but provides no protection against late onset disease.

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