July marked Group B Strep Awareness Month
Organised by the charity Group B Strep Support, Group B Strep Awareness Month (GBSAM) aims to improve awareness, prevention, diagnosis and treatment to help eradicate Group B Strep infection in babies.
Group B Streptococcus is a type of bacterium, also known as GBS, carried by around 20-30% of UK adults, most commonly in the bowels and/or vagina, usually without symptoms or side-effects. Even though it rarely causes any problems, GBS can be transmitted from mother to baby before or during birth, or through contact with adults who handle the baby, and it is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies and bacterial meningitis in babies younger than three months.
There are currently hundreds of IVDs available, many of which can play a critical role in providing the information required to predict, diagnose and manage many conditions through pregnancy to childbirth, in the immediate postnatal period and during a child’s early years.
These include Strep B testing available for at risk mothers to prevent babies being infected as they are born, usually done by a vaginal swab, though it can also be detected in urine. As the GBS bacterium can live in the vagina, babies can come into contact with GBS after waters break and during the process of giving birth. Most will be unaffected, but a small number of babies (around 1 in 2000) can develop an infection as a result.
For more information on GBSAM and support in relation to Group B Strep testing and treatment visit www.gbss.org.uk