Testing for Group B Strep can save lives
Mothers 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 recovery
But 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.
Routine screening for GBS is not available on the NHS.
In the UK 2 babies a day develop GBS infection, 1 baby a week dies and 1 baby a week survives with long term disability. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) recommend that all women are informed about GBS, however less than 50 percent of pregnant women are still not aware.
Testing for GBS could save a life.
Strepelle is a home to laboratory test designed to detect GBS, when the test is performed from 35 weeks gestation it gives a high predictor that a woman will have the same status when she is most likely to go into labour.
Do you want to know if you are carrying GBS in your pregnancy? A Strepelle test can be purchased at www.strepelle.com.