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J Infect Dev Ctries. 2011 Aug 12;5(8):592-5.

Genital tract group B streptococcal colonization in pregnant women: a South Indian perspective.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Pondicherry, India.



During the last few decades, group B Streptococcus (GBS) has emerged as an important pathogen. The major reservoirs for GBS are the vagina and the peri-anal regions/rectum, and the colonization of these regions is a risk factor for subsequent infection in pregnant women and newborns.


A prospective study was performed to determine the prevalence of GBS colonization in the vagina and rectum of pregnant women and the antibiotic susceptibility pattern of the isolates. We also aimed to identify risk factors associated with GBS colonization. The vaginal and rectal swabs were inoculated in Todd-Hewitt broth and later subcultured on blood agar for isolation of GBS.


A total of 300 pregnant women were enrolled in the study. GBS strains were isolated from seven out of 300 patients, corresponding to a colonization rate of 2.3%. Of the seven patients carrying GBS, isolates were cultured only from vaginal swabs in two cases (28.6%), only from rectal swabs in two cases (28.6%) from both vaginal and rectal swabs in three cases (42.9%). Heavy colonization was present only in 42.9% (3/7) of antenatal women. None of the seven isolates were resistant to penicillin or clindamycin, while one isolate (14.3%) was resistant to erythromycin and five isolates (71.4%) were resistant to tetracycline. Multigravid women and those with previous spontaneous abortion were more frequently colonized by GBS.


The GBS colonization rate in our study was low. No resistance to penicillin or clindamycin was seen, while the majority of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline.

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