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Third trimester group B streptococcus test doesn't accurately predict presence during labor
Date:2/11/2011

SAN FRANCISCO (February 11, 2011) In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting , in San Francisco, researchers will present findings that show that many women are having different test results for Group B streptococcus (GBS) between their routine third trimester screening and a rapid test performed at the time of labor.

GBS early-onset sepsis is a leading cause of neonatal infection. GBS is a bacterium that normally exists in the genital tracts of one-third of women; this bacterium comes and goes in the genital tracts of many women often without women knowing that they have it. It can lead to an infection and can put an infant at risk if it is present in the mother during delivery. Women are routinely tested for GBS in their third trimester. If the bacterium is present, these women are given antibiotics during labor. Two days are needed to obtain results from the standard culture, which prevents women from being screened in labor. However, a new rapid test that returns results in approximately one hour can be administered at the time of labor.

"Most women are currently screened for GBS in their last trimester, but even if the test is negative, GBS can still develop before women give birth," said Brett Young, M.D, an obstetrician undergoing training in high risk obstetrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. "We know that two-thirds of infants with GBS sepsis are born to mothers with negative third-trimester cultures, so we wanted to see how many women with a negative GBS test in the third trimester have a positive GBS result right before delivery. These babies in particular are at risk for acquiring GBS infection because the mothers are not given appropriate antibiotics in labor."

Young and her colleagues enrolled women in their study who presented to labor and delivery with an antepartum GBS culture. GBS cultures and rapid tests were performed durin
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Contact: Vicki Bendure
vicki@bendurepr.com
202-374-9259
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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