Streptococcus, Group B

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Streptococcus, Group B is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Group B streptococcus (group B strep) is a type of bacteria that causes infection among newborns, pregnant women or women after childbirth, females after gynecologic surgery, and older male and female patients with other serious diseases.

Group B strep remains the most common cause among newborns (neonates) of infection of the blood (septicemia) and of the brain (meningitis). The responsible bacterium, usually S. agalactiae, may be found most often in the vagina and rectum of females and may be transmitted sexually, as well as to a fetus as the infant passes through the birth canal.

Group B strep infection of newborns may be prevented by giving pregnant women who are carriers antibiotics through the vein (intravenously) during labor. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that any pregnant woman who has had a baby with group B strep disease in the past, who has a bladder (urinary tract) infection caused by group B strep, or who tests positive for group B strep during pregnancy should receive antibiotics during labor.

Prevention and prompt treatment are important because group B strep infections may become life-threatening among newborns.

GBS disease is said to be early onset if it is obvious within the first week of life. It is said to be late onset if the disease is evident after the first week of life and before the end of the first three months. Those at greatest risk of GBS disease are newborn children of infected mothers, women after childbirth, females after gynecologic surgery and older male and female patients with other serious diseases.

Supporting Organizations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

Group B Strep Association

P.O. Box 16515
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107

For a Complete Report

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The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

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This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  5/12/2009
Copyright  2009 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.