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J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2004 Sep;26(9):826-40.

The prevention of early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal disease.

[Article in English, French]



To review the evidence in the literature and to provide recommendations on the management of pregnant women in labour for the prevention of early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal (GBS) disease.


Maternal outcomes evaluated included exposure to antibiotics in pregnancy and labour and complications related to antibiotic use. Neonatal outcomes of rates of early-onset group B streptococcal infections are evaluated.


A review of the literature through MEDLINE from January 1980 to December 2003, relating to neonatal group B streptococcal infection and a review of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.


The evidence obtained was reviewed and evaluated by the Infectious Diseases Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) under the leadership of the principal authors, and recommendations were made according to guidelines developed by the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Exam.


1. Offer all women screening for group B streptococcal disease at 35 to 37 weeks' gestation with culture done from one swab first to the vagina then to the rectal area. (II-1)2. Treat the following women intrapartum at time of labour or rupture of membranes with IV antibiotics: -all women positive by GBS culture screening done at 35 to 37 weeks (II-2) - any women with an infant previously infected with GBS (II-3) - any women with documented GBS bacteriuria (regardless of level of colony-forming units per mL) in this pregnancy (II-2) 3. Treat women at less than 37 weeks' gestation with IV antibiotics unless there has been a negative GBS vaginal/rectal swab culture within 5 weeks. (II-3) 4. Treat women with intrapartum fever with IV antibiotics (i.e., chorioamnionitis must be treated, but broader spectrum antibiotics would be advised). (II-2) 5. If a woman is GBS-positive by culture screening or by history of bacteriuria, with prelabour rupture of membranes at term, treat with GBS antibiotic prophylaxis and initiate induction of labour with IV oxytocin (II-1) 6. If GBS culture result is unknown and the woman has ruptured membranes at term for greater than 18 hours, treat with GBS antibiotic prophylaxis. (II-2)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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