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J Med Microbiol. 2018 Nov;67(11):1551-1559. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000849. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

Microbiological and clinical characteristics of Group B Streptococcus isolates causing materno-neonatal infections: high prevalence of CC17/PI-1 and PI-2b sublineage in neonatal infections.

Lu B1, Wu J2, Chen X3, Gao C4, Yang J5, Li Y6, Wang J7, Zeng J8, Fang Y9,10, Wang D9,10, Cui Y11, Wang L12.

Author information

1​Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Center for Respiratory Diseases, China-Japan Friendship Hospital; National Clinical Research Center of Respiratory Diseases, Beijing,100029, PR China.
2​Department of Laboratory Medicine, Xiamen Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Xiamen, 361003, PR China.
3​Department of Laboratory Medicine, People's Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning, 530021, PR China.
4​Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tangshan Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Tangshan, 063000, PR China.
5​Department of Laboratory Medicine, Zhengzhou children's hospital, Zhengzhou, 450018, PR China.
6​Department of Laboratory Medicine, Henan Provincial People's Hospital, Zhengzhou, 450003, PR China.
7​Department of clinical laboratory, Affiliated hospital of Inner Mongolia medical university, Hohhot, 010050, PR China.
8​Department of Laboratory Medicine, Wuhan Pu Ai Hospital of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430034, PR China.
9​National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, and State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206, PR China.
10​Collaborative Innovation Centre for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Hangzhou, 310003, PR China.
11​Department of Laboratory Medicine, Civil Aviation General Hospital, Beijing, 100123, PR China.
12​Department of Laboratory Medicine, Beijing Tsinghua Chang Gung Hospital, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 102218, PR China.



Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is one of the major pathogens in severe materno-neonatal infections. We aimed to describe the clinical and molecular characteristics of GBS isolates causing infections in 45 maternal and 50 neonatal subjects, collected from eight healthcare centres in mainland China over the period 2010- 2017.


The phenotypic and genotypic features of the GBS isolates, including capsular polysaccharide (cps) serotypes, pilus island (PI) genes and antibiotic resistance profiles and genes, were characterized by both conventional and molecular methods. The clonal relationship between these strains was investigated using multilocus sequence typing (MLST).


Of the 95 isolates, the predominant serotypes were III (51, 53.7 %), V (13, 13.7 %) and Ib (13, 13.7 %). All GBS strains carried at least one pilus island, with 32.6 % carrying PI-2b and 67.4 % PI-2a, singly or in combination. The most frequently-detected pilus island pattern was the combination of PI-1 and PI-2a, accounting for 56.8 % (54 isolates), followed by PI-1 combined with PI-2b (28, 29.5 %), PI-2a (10, 10.5 %) and PI-2b (3, 3.2 %). The strains were classified into 17 individual sequence types, and further clustered into six clonal complexes (CCs). A high prevalence of CC17/PI-1 and PI-2b (17, 34.0 %) was detected in 50 GBS isolates causing neonatal infections. No strain was resistant to penicillin, ampicillin, ceftriaxone or vancomycin, whereas 78.9, 76.8 and 81.5 % were resistant to erythromycin, clindamycin and tetracycline, respectively.


Our study highlights the high genotypic diversity of GBS strains causing materno-neonatal infections, and the CC17/PI-1 and PI-2b sublineages should be noted in neonatal infections.


CC17/PI-1 and PI-2b sublineage; Group B Streptococcus; Pilus islands; materno-neonatal infections; multilocus sequence typing; serotyping

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