A test for Group B Streptococcus could make all the difference
Group B Strep can seriously harm your baby
1 in 4 women carry GBS during pregnancy without knowing
AROUND 25% OF WOMEN CARRY GROUP B STREP WHILE PREGNANT
OUR AT HOME TEST GIVES YOU AND YOUR HEALTHCARE TEAM THE KNOWLEDGE TO TREAT IT. Once identified that you carry the Strep B bacterium you and your baby can be protected from a GBS infection with intravenous antibiotics whilst in labour. All it takes is a simple test to see if you and your baby are at risk.
WHAT IS GROUP B STREP?
Group B Streptococcus also known as Group B Strep, Strep B, Beta Strep, or GBS, is a common bacterium living normally in the bowel in 20-40% of both women and men
It’s estimated that around one in four pregnant women in the UK carry GBS in their digestive system or vagina. GBS can be passed through sexual contact although it is not a sexually transmitted disease.
IS STREP B IN BABIES DANGEROUS?
If Group B Strep is passed to a baby they are at risk of developing one of two types of GBS infection Early Onset and Late Onset.
EARLY ONSET GBS INFECTION
Around two thirds of GBS infections are early-onset and occur within the first 6 days of a baby’s life. Most infections are visible at birth or within the first 12 hours so are usually picked up by the maternity team. Be aware of the signs of early onset.
OUTCOMES OF EARLY-ONSET GBS INFECTION
Most newborn babies will recover from their GBS infection. However, 1 in 17 newborn babies with a GBS infection will die and 1 in 14 babies who survive their GBS infection will be affected permanently. Up to half of survivors with GBS meningitis can suffer from physical disability, brain damage, mild to moderate learning disability, deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy and lung damage.
LATE ONSET GBS INFECTION
One third of GBS infections are late onset, and can present between 7 days and 3 months as meningitis and sepsis, septic arthritis (infection in the joints) and osteomyelitis (infection in the bone). Typical signs of late-onset Group B Strep infection are similar to those associated with early onset infection.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TESTING FOR GBS
In the UK routine antenatal testing for GBS is currently not offered by the NHS. This is in sharp contrast to many other developed countries such as Australia, France, Germany, Spain and the USA who do routinely screen pregnant women for GBS and have seen a significant reduction in GBS infections.