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Group B Strep – what are we missing?

Group B Strep is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies in the UK. Despite a risk-based prevention strategy being in place since 2003, to tackle early-onset infection, rates have significantly increased. Jane Plumb and Kate F Walker discuss the current UK approach and what needs to change.

Data published by Public Health England in November 2019 reported that the rate of group B Strep (GBS) infections in babies during their first week of life in 2018 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland has risen again.1 Updated guidance published in 2017 by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecolologists (RCOG) on preventing early-onset GBS infection2 should have led to a reduction in these infections in newborn babies, yet the rates have increased. So, what are we missing?

Background

Group B Streptococcus (GBS or group B Strep), or Streptococcus agalactiae, is a ß-haemolytic gram-positive coccus. It is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies in the UK3 causing sepsis and pneumonia and, in about 10%, meningitis.4 Approximately one in three survivors of GBS meningitis have some neurodevelopmental impairment, and one in five survivors have moderate to severe neurodevelopmental impairment.5 

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Upcoming Events

Advancing Ultrasound Probe Decontamination Study Day

Horizon Leeds, 2 Kendall Street #3rd Floor Leeds LS10 1JR
12th March 2024

Webinar: How to be Compliant and Sustainable In Healthcare

ONLINE
19th March 2024 & 21st March 2024 10 am CET time o

POCT Innovators: The Power to Disrupt Series

Cloth Hall Court, Leeds. UK
20 March, 2024

Central Sterilising Club - Annual Scientific Meeting 2024

Crowne Plaza at Gerrard’s Cross
15th April 2024 – 16th April 2024

DECON UK 2024

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
17th April 2024

Infection Prevention & Control

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
23rd - 24th April 2024

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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