GBS, pregnancy and garlic: be a part of the solution

Midwifery Today Int Midwife. 2004 Winter:(72):24-5.


In 2002 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) wrote new GBS protocols that call for the 4,000,000 pregnant women in the US each year to have a rectal/vaginal culture for GBS at 36 weeks. The protocols recommend that the 800,000 women per year who will have a GBS-positive result receive IV antibiotics during labor, costing $20,000,000 a year, at a low estimate of $25 per woman. This will prevent the deaths of about 100 infants a year from early onset GBS, while 80 newborns a year will still die of the disease. It will prevent about 4,000 (60% of the total) newborn early onset GBS infections. Garlic kills GBS, but because no profit can be made from its use, no research exists on the use of garlic to prevent GBS in newborns. Women are encouraged to consider following the protocols described in this article at 35 weeks and culturing for GBS at 36 weeks, as a proactive way to research the use of garlic to prevent newborn GBS disease.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / economics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Garlic*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Mothers / education*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / nursing
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Risk Factors
  • Streptococcal Infections* / drug therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections* / nursing
  • Streptococcal Infections* / prevention & control
  • Streptococcus agalactiae


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents