Prevention of Early-onset Group B Streptococcal (GBS) Infection in the Newborn

Summary

There is fair evidence that universal screening for group B streptococcal colonization at 35–37 weeks’ gestation followed by selective intrapartum chemoprophylaxis given to colonized women who have risk factors reduces the incidence of colonization and early onset infection in neonates.  This appears to be the most efficient strategy (B recommendation).

There is fair evidence that universal screening for group B streptococcal colonization at 35–37 weeks’ gestation followed by intrapartum chemoprophylaxis of all colonized women reduces the incidence of colonization in neonates and prevents early onset neonatal infection, but this strategy is associated with a much larger proportion of women being treated (B recommendation).

There is insufficient evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of intrapartum chemoprophylaxis given on the basis of risk factors alone (C recommendation).

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