Group B streptococcus (strep) is a common bacterium often carried in your intestines or lower genital tract. Group B strep is usually harmless in adults. In newborns, however, it can cause a serious illness known as group B strep disease.
Group B strep can also cause dangerous infections in adults with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or liver disease. Older adults are at increased risk of illness due to group B strep, too.
If you're a healthy adult, there's nothing you need to do about group B strep. If you're pregnant, get a group B strep screening test during your third trimester. If you have group B strep, antibiotic treatment during labor can protect your baby.
April 26, 2016
- Puopolo KM, et al. Group B streptococcal infection in neonates and young infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.
- Group B strep. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/about/index.html. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.
- Hay WW, et al. The newborn infant. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 22nd ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.
- Barshak M, et al. Group B streptococcal infections in nonpregnant adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.
- Puopolo KM, et al. Group B streptococcal infection in pregnant women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.