Estimated early-onset group B streptococcal neonatal disease

Lancet. 2003 Jun 7;361(9373):1953-4. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13553-2.


Estimates of incidence of early-onset group B streptococcal (EOGBS) infection are based on blood or cerebrospinal fluid culture-proven cases, which can be falsely negative and hence underestimate the true burden of disease. Probable EOGBS infection can be defined as colonisation by group B streptococci accompanied by features of clinical sepsis. Data collected prospectively in the UK over 1 year for neonates who required a septic screen in the first 72 h of life indicated a combined rate of definite and probable EOGBS infection of 3.6 per 1000 livebirths. This estimate indicates a much greater disease burden in the UK than that suggested by figures of culture-proven sepsis, and lends support to the need for prevention strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology