For the past two decades, group B streptococcus (GBS) has been the pathogen most frequently isolated from neonates with invasive bacterial disease. This is a review of the relevant aspects of microbiology, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations and a summary of the major studies of prevention strategies that led to the development of the 1996 consensus guidelines for prevention of perinatal GBS disease. There is now sufficient experience to know that ≤80% of cases of early onset GBS disease can be prevented when a protocol for intrapartum chemoprophylaxis with either penicillin or ampicillin is implemented consistently within a delivery population. Present controversies revolve around the choice between a universal screening-based strategy versus a risk factor-based strategy, optimal management of the neonate born to a mother who received intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis, and effective methods to ensure implementation. The present guidelines will likely be refined as additional experience is gained.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology