Many healthy people carry group B strep bacteria in their bodies. Group B strep bacteria aren't sexually transmitted, and they're not spread through food or water. You may carry group B strep in your body for just a short period of time, it may come and go, or you may always have it.

Group B strep can spread to a baby during a vaginal delivery if the baby is exposed to — or swallows — fluids containing group B strep.

Some individuals, such as older adults and those with chronic health conditions, can develop a more serious infection from group B strep. However, the reason this occurs in some people but not others isn't known.

Aug. 22, 2013