What are Group B streptococci (GBS)?
What is Group B streptococci infection?
Mothers know that we test them for GBS during pregnancy and they also know that as primary care physicians for the infant, we always ask whether the child has been exposed to GBS during pregnancy. Group B streptococci are common inhabitants of the human gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. The colonization rate in pregnant women ranges from 15% to 35%. Group B streptococci are a major cause of perinatal infections and urinary tract infections in women during pregnancy and immediately postpartum. They are also a common cause of system wide and focal infections in neonates and young infants.
Transmission of GBS from mother to infant occurs shortly before or during delivery. After delivery, person-to-person transmission can occur. Although uncommon, GBS infection can be acquired in the nursery from health care professionals or visitors (probably resulting from improper hand hygiene), and more commonly in the community (colonized family members or caregivers).
So how does this affect your little one? If you test positive for GBS, you will be treated with the appropriate antibiotic(s) prior to delivery. After delivery, regardless of your treatment approach, your little one will remain with you, requiring observation for 48hrs. Therefore, no IV pokes or lab draws. The goal is to be cautious, with preferred pre-delivery treatment for you, the mother, but ultimately to keep you and your little one(s) together as a family!