Maternal Group B Streptococcus colonisation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Streptococcus agalactiae, commonly known as Group B Streptococcus (GBS), is an important neonatal pathogen known to cause sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia. Australian pregnant women undergo screening during pregnancy in an effort to eradicate GBS before delivery where transmission to the neonate can occur. Preventative treatment includes intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis and results in widespread treatment of the 10-40% of pregnant women colonised. GBS are separated into ten different capsular polysaccharide serotypes and previous studies have suggested associations between specific serotypes and disease. At present, however, minimal data exist on serotype distribution within Western Australian-pregnant women, information that may play an important role in future prophylactic treatment regimens. Our preliminary data, obtained from GBS isolated from vaginal swabs from 191 pregnant women, suggests that GBS serotype distributions in Western Australia are different to other parts of Australasia. In particular, compared to the eastern Australian states and New Zealand, in our cohort, serotype Ib prevalence was 7-17 times lower, II was 2-6 times greater and VI was 2-12 times greater. In addition, serotype IX represented 6.3% of all serotypes. Understanding which serotypes are present in our population will provide valuable data for future targeted treatment regimens such as vaccination and bacteriophage therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-136
Number of pages3
JournalMicrobiology Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


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