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Singapore Med J. 1995 Aug;36(4):383-5.

Genital Group B Streptococcus carriage in the antenatal period: its role in prom and preterm labour.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, National University of Singapore.


Of 326 high vaginal swabs taken during the antenatal period, Group B Streptococcus (GBS) was isolated from the birth canal in 46 women, giving a carrier rate of 14.1%, which is within the often quoted range of between 5% - 25% in different parts of the world. Carriage rates were similar at different gestations. In a subgroup of 34 women, 2 swabs taken at least 5 weeks apart yielded results which were discordant in over one fifth of the time. This knowledge of the natural history of GBS carriage questions the practice of treating asymptomatic carriers of GBS in the antenatal period to prevent transmission of GBS to the neonate. The group of women with positive swabs in the antenatal period did not have a significantly higher incidence of preterm labour and/or prelabour rupture of membranes (PROM) compared with the group of women with negative swabs. Routine screening of the antenatal population for GBS carrier status prior to 32 weeks gestation may not identify women at high risk of PROM or preterm labour.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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