Prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal infection: Current controversies

W. David Hager, Anne Schuchat, Ronald Gibbs, Richard L Sweet, Philip Mead, John W. Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Group B streptococcus (GBS) is the most frequent cause of neonatal sepsis in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for its prevention in 1996. This article details areas of controversy with those guidelines and offers recommendations for resolution. We recommend that a prevention policy be adopted by all hospitals. If a screening-based policy is chosen, compliance is essential. Penicillin is the antibiotic of choice for GBS prevention. Increasing resistance to clindamycin and erythromycin might eliminate them as alternative choices in patients allergic to penicillin. Group B streptococcal prophylaxis might not be necessary in women who have repeat elective cesarean delivery. In asymptomatic women, a positive urine culture for GBS should be considered clinically equivalent to a positive vaginal or rectal sample for screening. Neonatal sepsis caused by organisms other than GBS must be monitored carefully by all hospitals providing obstetrics services. Copyright (C) 2000 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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