Return to Index
Group B Strep Screening: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
What Is GBS?
- Before birth—Bacteria in the vagina can spread up the birth canal into the uterus and infect the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. The baby becomes infected by inhaling the infected fluid into the lungs.
- During birth—The baby can come in contact with the bacteria in the birth canal.
- After birth—The baby can come in contact with the bacteria through intimate physical contact with the mother.
How Do I Know If I’m at Risk?
- A previous baby with GBS
- GBS bacteria present in urine during any trimester of the current pregnancy
- Positive GBS screening culture in third trimester of current pregnancy
Unknown GBS status and:
- Labor or rupture of the membranes (water breaking) before 37 weeks gestation
- A rupture of the membranes 18 hours or more before delivery
- A fever during labor
What Are the Symptoms of GBS?
- Trouble breathing
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Temperature instability (high and low)
- Poor feeding
What to Expect If Your Test Comes Back Positive
Using What You Know
American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.aafp.org/
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org/
The Canadian Women's Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca/
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org/
Group B strep infection: GBS. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/groupbstrepinfection.html. Updated March 2011. Accessed September 13, 2012.
Group B streptococcal infection in infants less than 3 months old. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated September 11, 2012. Accessed September 13, 2012.
Group B streptococcus and pregnancy. American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq105.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20120913T1306564765. Accessed September 13, 2012.
Horsely L. CDC updates guidelines for the preventions of perinatal GBS disease. Am Fam Physician. 2011;83(9):1106-1110. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0501/p1106.html. Accessed September 13, 2012.
Prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal disease--revised guidelines from CDC, 2010. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2010;59(RR-10):1-36.
Screening and monitoring during pregnancy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated September 7, 2012. Accessed September 13, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012
- Update Date: 09/13/2012