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Infez Med. 2016 Sep 1;24(3):217-21.

Streptococcus agalactiae: prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in vaginal and rectal swabs in Italian pregnant women.

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Degree course in Obstetrics, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, "San Jacopo" Hospital, Pistoia, Italy.
RSA "Villa Jole", Florence, Italy.


Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) reduces both the vertical transmission of Streptococcus agalactiae or Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and the early onset of neonatal sepsis. However, existing guidelines do not recommend that antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) be routinely performed. Penicillin or ampicillin are indicated as first-choice antibiotics, cefazolin being an alternative in the case of history of mild allergic reactions, and vancomycin or clindamycin an alternative in the event of severe reactions. We performed a cross-sectional analysis to identify the presence of any bacterial resistance towards the antibiotics most frequently used for IAP in pregnant women with GBS positive vaginal-rectal swabs, in the Pistoia area of central Italy. Of the 255 tested samples, 65 (25.5%) were positive for GBS. Sensitivity to glycopeptides was over 90%, but lower to ampicillin and penicillin (87.10% and 87.93% respectively). Resistance towards clindamycin and erythromycin was as high as 43.75% and 32.20%. All tested GBS proved susceptible to moxifloxacin, linezolid and tigecycline. Our observed prevalence is aligned or slightly higher than data reported in other series. The less than full effectiveness and low percentages of ampicillin and penicillin sensitivity observed give cause for concern. We confirmed the increase in clindamycin and erythromycin resistance. Glycopeptides can be used as second-line antibiotics, but the complete AST of GBS should always be performed before IAP. Given that gentamicin is used synergically with penicillin when treating chorioamnionitis, it needs to be always included in the AST. This is the first study on the GBS sensitivity profile in Tuscany. Further investigation on a larger scale is required prior to implementing any changes in the current guidelines.

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