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Trends Microbiol. 2017 Nov;25(11):919-931. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2017.05.013. Epub 2017 Jun 17.

Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Infections: Virulence Factors, Immunity, and Prevention Strategies.

Author information

1
Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; Center for Global Infectious Disease Research, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
3
Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; Center for Global Infectious Disease Research, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. Electronic address: lakshmi.rajagopal@seattlechildrens.org.

Abstract

Group B streptococcus (GBS) or Streptococcus agalactiae is a β-hemolytic, Gram-positive bacterium that is a leading cause of neonatal infections. GBS commonly colonizes the lower gastrointestinal and genital tracts and, during pregnancy, neonates are at risk of infection. Although intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis during labor and delivery has decreased the incidence of early-onset neonatal infection, these measures do not prevent ascending infection that can occur earlier in pregnancy leading to preterm births, stillbirths, or late-onset neonatal infections. Prevention of GBS infection in pregnancy is complex and is likely influenced by multiple factors, including pathogenicity, host factors, vaginal microbiome, false-negative screening, and/or changes in antibiotic resistance. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms of GBS infections during pregnancy will facilitate the development of novel therapeutics and vaccines. Here, we summarize and discuss important advancements in our understanding of GBS vaginal colonization, ascending infection, and preterm birth.

KEYWORDS:

Group B streptococcus; ascending infection; perinatal; preterm birth; vaginal colonization infection

PMID:
28633864
PMCID:
PMC5650539
DOI:
10.1016/j.tim.2017.05.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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