Testing for Group B Strep can save livesMothers tested GBS positive should be offered Intravenous antibiotics in labour to reduce the risk of GBS transmission.
What Complications can GBS infection cause?Group B streptococcus (GBS, or group B strep) is carried by up to 30% of people. Although rarely harmful to the mother it can pass to the baby, particularly during labour. This can cause serious complications such as sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis that can be life threatening for the baby. GBS is also known to cause urinary tract infections, and rarely, can infect the uterus and cause late miscarraiges, preterm birth, and stillbirth. It causes no problem in most pregnancies but, in a small number, group B strep infects the baby, usually just before or during labour, leading to serious illness.
Most babies who become infected can be treated successfully and will make a full recoveryBut even with the best medical care, the infection can sometimes cause life-threatening complications and, in some cases, death. Rarely, GBS can cause infection in the mother – for example, in the womb or urinary tract or, more seriously, an infection that spreads through the blood, causing symptoms to develop throughout the whole body (sepsis). The following countries routinely screen for GBS and have seen a fall in infection by 71-86%: Australia, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Dubai, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA.