Why should I test for Group B Strep?
Carrying Group B Streptococcus has no symptoms. Taking a test is the only way of finding out if you are carrying the bacteria.
Our test is simple, safe, effective, and easy to use. It is a home to laboratory test for use from 35 weeks of pregnancy. Our Enriched Culture Medium test is recognised as the gold standard for detecting GBS carriage. The Strepelle 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 or not. When GBS is detected during pregnancy steps can be taken to minimise the risk of your newborn developing the 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.
Group B Strep infection is the most common cause of infection in newborn babies and 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).
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
The UK does not routinely offer testing by the NHS. 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.