Group B Streptoccus (GBS)* using
Enriched Culture Medium (ECM)
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the commonest cause of
life-threatening infections in newborn babies in the UK. Most GBS
infections can be prevented with intravenous antibiotics, given at
the onset of labour. This reduces the likelihood of early-onset GBS
infection developing in a baby born to a woman carrying GBS at the
time of delivery from around 1 in 300 to less than 1 in
Babies are usually exposed to GBS shortly before or during birth.
It is not understood why some babies are susceptible to the
bacteria and develop infection, whilst others do not. What is
clear, however, is that most GBS infections in newborn babies can
be prevented by giving higher risk women intravenous antibiotics
from the onset of labour until the baby is born. Complications that
arise during a neonatal GBS infection are serious and can involve
septicemia, pneumonia, meningitis, as well as visual and auditory
problems and death in one out of every 20 babies who are
GBS is a common commensal bacterium - approximately 30% of the
population are colonised with the bacterium in their intestines -
it does not cause harm and does not require treatment.
Approximately 25% of women of childbearing age carry GBS in the
vaginal-rectal area at any one time.
Testing for GBS at The Doctors Laboratory has, to date, used an
Enriched Culture Medium (ECM) specifically designed for the
isolation of GBS in swabs. This method is not routinely provided by
the NHS. Two swabs (lower vaginal and rectal) need to be cultured
at 35-37 weeks' gestation to best predict colonisation with GBS
around the time of delivery.
TDL provides a high level service
for testing of GBS using the ECM method for the detection of Group
B Streptococcus (GBS) in pregnant women at the time of delivery or
at any other stage of their pregnancy.
|Group B Strep by ECM
||Micro Swab x 2 (blue) (rectal
information, or sample taking packs, contact MLP on 1800 303 349 or
*Group B Strep Support (preventing GBS infection in newborn
TDL follow's the HPA's BSOP58 for all tests for GBS