Group B streptococcus infection (GBS), is infection with the bacteria Streptococcus. Group B strep are bacteria found normally in the intestine, vagina, and rectal area in about 25% of all healthy women. Group B streptococcal infection can cause serious illness and sometimes death, especially in neonates, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
The infection can be spread to infants before or during delivery. Signs and symptoms in babies may include fever, breathing problems, lethargy, and poor feeding. Diagnosis of GBS infection is made by isolating the organism from body fluids and the important test for identification is the CAMP test characterized by the presence of group B Lancefield antigen and by its ability to hydrolyze sodium hippurate.
The preventions and treatments involve use of Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) for Women who delivered a previous infant with GBS disease or in the current pregnancy, Penicillin is the preferred agent for IAP, and ampicillin is an acceptable alternative. In 2013 approximately 1000 newborns and women were reported for GBS infection.