Why take a Strep B Test UK?

Strep B - why should I test when pregnant?

Why should I test for Group B Strep?

Carrying Group B Streptococcus, (Group B Strep, Strep B, GBS) has no symptoms. Taking a test is the only way of finding out if you are carrying the bacteria. Our test is simple, safe, accurate, reliable and an easy to use home-to-laboratory test for use from 35 weeks of pregnancy.

The Enriched Culture Medium test is recognised as the gold standard for detecting GBS carriage and our Strep B test gives you a highly predictive result of whether you will be carrying GBS over the next 5 weeks. Therefore when the test is taken at 35-37 weeks it covers when you are most likely to go into labour.

Testing is the only way to identify whether you are carrying GBS, Strep B or not. When detected during pregnancy steps can be taken to minimise the risk of your newborn developing a GBS infection. When a pregnant woman knows she is carrying Group B Strep she will be offered antibiotics from the onset of labour which minimises the risk of her newborn baby developing a Group B Strep infection; the most common cause of infection in newborn babies that causes meningitis, sepsis, and pneumonia.

In the UK, every month an average of

66 babies are diagnosed with Group B Strep infection

40 in the first 6 days (Early on-set) and 26 later in the first week to three months of life (Late –on-set).

66 babies develop a Strep B infection

56 babies make a full recovery

35 early on-set and 21 late on-set.

6 babies survive but with long term physical or mental disabilities

3 early on-set and 3 late on-set.

4 babies die from their infection

2 early on-set and 2 late on-set

 

Strep B testing in the UK
The UK does not routinely test for GBS - unlike most other developed countries.

 

If you are offered a test it is important to find out what type of test they are using as not all tests are equally reliable. Strepelle uses a GBS-specific Enriched Culture Medium (ECM) test.

 Do I need to test for Group B Strep in each pregnancy?

If Group B Strep was detected in a previous pregnancy and your baby did not develop a GBS infection, there is a 50% chance that you will be carrying Group B Strep again in your next pregnancy.

Our test is simple, safe, accurate, reliable and an easy to use home-to-laboratory test for use from 35 weeks of pregnancy.  Taken in the Safety and Convenience of your own home and Processed at a Professional Laboratory.

More information available