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Group B strep

Group B strep

Why is monitoring for Group B Streptococcus necessary?
Group B strep (SGB), is a bacterium found in the saprophytic flora of the body and is not dangerous to healthy adults. If it is not associated with any disease in adults and is often overlooked, the newborn can become dangerous instead because it can cause serious infections.
Group B strep is different from group A. Streptococcus in group A is a bacterium that normally lives in the pharyngeal mucosa and produces infections at this level (pharyngitis, tonsillitis).
Streptococcus in group B, haemolytic beta is found in 10-30% of women in the vaginal discharge and perianal region, and is easily transmitted to the baby during birth naturally

Monitoring for group B streptococcus is important because once identified it should be treated (sterilized) to exclude transmission to the newborn who may develop serious infections.
Without proper antibiotic treatment, 1% of children born to SGB positive mothers will develop severe neonatal infections with hemolytic streptococcus B (sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia).
Infection with streptococcus B, hemolytic beta is the most common neonatal infection with early onset, within the first 24-48 hours after birth and not properly treated can cause long-term sequelae or even death of the child.
Septicemia is the most common manifestation of haemolytic streptococcal B infection (30-40%), followed by meningitis which is quite difficult to treat and can create long-term problems (decreased visual acuity, cerebral palsy, developmental and behavioral disorders , epilepsy, etc.).
Up to 5% of these children will not survive, regardless of the treatment instituted.
Monitoring against group B streptococcus thus becomes extremely important. All pregnancies should be tested between weeks 35-37 of pregnancy, so that proper treatment can be instituted and the risk of transmitting the bacteria to the newborn is reduced.
Administration of the antibiotic treatment with labor begins at the same time reduces the risk of perinatal transmission of the germ to the newborn.

Is it necessary to monitor all pregnancies for hemolytic streptococcus B?
Most obstetricians, neonatologists and pediatricians recommend monitoring all pregnancies for group B streptococcus between 35-37 weeks of gestation.
Even if the gynecologist does not recommend testing, the pregnant woman should know the risks of hemolytic streptococcal infection in the child and request the test.
Testing for SGB is only performed at the end of pregnancy, because the bacterium may be absent in the first months of pregnancy and reappear at the end of pregnancy. Most importantly, it is absent at birth, when it can be transmitted to the newborn. So the monitoring is done 2-3 weeks before the time of birth.
Testing is required for every woman's pregnancy, even if testing at a previous pregnancy was negative. Treatment of group B streptococcus in a pregnancy does not guarantee its absence in a subsequent pregnancy, which is why it is necessary to test the same woman for each pregnancy.
Women who have a history of having a child with GBS infection will not be required to be tested because they will receive prenatal antibiotic treatment regardless of the outcome of the monitoring. Also, pregnant women who have urinary tract contaminated with hemolytic streptococcus should not be tested as they will also receive mandatory antibiotic treatment.
Pregnant women with group B streptococcus, those with urinary hemolytic streptococcus and pregnant women with a child with neonatal GBS infection will receive antibiotic injection throughout labor to reduce the risk of bacterial transmission at newborn.

Screening for hemolytic streptococcus B in pregnant women


Is screening of all pregnancies necessary for hemolytic streptococcus B?
Most obstetricians, neonatologists and pediatricians recommend screening all pregnant women for group B streptococcus between weeks 35-37 of pregnancy.
Even if the gynecologist does not recommend testing, the pregnant woman should know the risks of hemolytic streptococcal infection in the child and request the test.
Testing for GBS is only performed at the end of pregnancy, because the bacterium may be absent in the first months of pregnancy and reappear at the end of pregnancy. Most importantly, it is absent at birth, when it can be transmitted to the newborn.

So the screening is done 2-3 weeks before the time of birth.
Testing is required for every woman's pregnancy, even if testing at a previous pregnancy was negative. Treatment of group B streptococcus in a pregnancy does not guarantee its absence in a subsequent pregnancy, which is why it is necessary to test the same woman for each pregnancy.
Women who have a history of having a child with GBS infection will not be required to be tested because they will receive prenatal antibiotic treatment regardless of the screening result. Also, pregnant women who have urine contaminated with hemolytic streptococcus should not be tested as they will also receive mandatory antibiotic treatment.
Pregnant women with group B streptococcus, those with hemolytic beta streptococcus and pregnant women with a child with neonatal GBS infection will receive antibiotic (infusion) treatment throughout labor to reduce the risk transmission of the bacterium to the newborn.

Testing for group B streptococcus


The test for group B streptococcus that is performed between weeks 35-37 of pregnancy, consists in fact collecting the vaginal secretion by the gynecologist, so that it can be analyzed in the laboratory.
Harvesting of the secretion is not painful and is performed with a sterile instrument or tampon to avoid contamination of the sample. The collected sample is sown on a culture medium, the final result being available in 2-3 days.

Tags Streptococcal infection