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J Perinat Med. 1988;16(5-6):423-30.

Neonatal septicemia due to group B streptococci--perinatal risk factors and outcome of subsequent pregnancies.

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Department of Pediatrics, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


All cases of early onset group B streptococcal (GBS) septicemia in infants born at Karolinska Hospital 1975-1986 were reviewed. GBS-septicemia was diagnosed in 40 infants within the first five days of life. The incidence was 1.24 per 1000 births. Fifty-five percent of the infants were preterm and 48% were born more than or equal to 12 hours after rupture of membranes. Prematurity and/or prolonged rupture of membranes were present in 83% of all neonates with fatal outcome. Case fatality was 22%. Deliveries by both cesarean section (31%) and vacuum extraction (26%) were increased in the mothers when compared to an overall incidence of 14 and 12% (p less than 0.01). Twenty-four (89%) of 27 mothers had low type specific IgG antibodies against the infecting GBS-serotype. Late onset GBS-septicemia was diagnosed in only two infants during the period. Seventeen mothers went through 24 subsequent pregnancies. In 11 of those the mothers were colonized with GBS and 10 received penicillin prophylaxis during pregnancy and/or delivery. None of the infants born after prophylaxis were colonized with GBS. Two were born prematurely and all had an uneventful course; whereas one infant delivered at 26 weeks gestation of a colonized untreated mother died of GBS-septicemia. Screening of parturients at risk and selective antibiotic prophylaxis may help to prevent early onset GBS-septicemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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