Significance of a positive urine group B streptococcal latex agglutination test in neonates

Pablo J. Sánchez, Jane D. Siegel, Nancy B. Cushion, Norma Threlkeld

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31 Scopus citations


We assessed the clinical significance of a reactive urine latex agglutination (LA) test in neonates without bacteriologically confirmed group B streptococcal (GBS) infection. In a retrospective review of a 3 1/2-month period, during which 367 urine specimens from newborn infants evaluated for suspected sepsis were tested by LA, 25 infants (6.9%) with sterile blood, cultures but positive urine LA test results were compared with a control group of 112 infants with both blood cultures and urine LA test results negative for GBS. When the data were studied with stepwise discriminant analysis, the only variables signifincantly associated with a positive urine LA test result were immature to total neutrophil ratios ≥0.16 at 0 and 12 hours. The influence of mucosal GBS colonization on urine LA test results was then investigated propectively in 98 healthy infants (83 born to mothers colonized with GBS and 15 born to mothers with negative GBS cultures). Eight (8.2%) of the infants studied, or 8 of 52 (15.4%) infants colonized with GBS, had a positie urine LA test result. GBS was isolated from urine cultures of all infants with a positive urine LA test result. A positive urine LA test result was associated with positive GBS rectal and vaginal cultures and with increased density of colonization at those sites. We conclude that contamination of bag specimens of urine with GBS from perineal and rectal colonization may produce a positive urine LA test result in an infant with no systemic sign of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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