Group B streptococcal infections in elderly adults

Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Sep 15;41(6):839-47. doi: 10.1086/432804. Epub 2005 Aug 16.


Elderly adults account for >40% of persons with invasive group B streptococcal (GBS) disease and for >50% of GBS-associated deaths in the United States. The prevalence of colonization among healthy elderly adults (approximately 25%) is similar to that among women of childbearing age. Delineating contributions of comorbid conditions, altered integrity of anatomical barriers, and abnormalities in immune responses caused by immune senescence to pathogenesis require further investigation. Delayed clinical recognition of illness may contribute to poor outcome. Skin and soft-tissue infections and bacteremia with no identified focus are common manifestations of infection in elderly adults and younger nonpregnant adults. Urinary tract infection and pneumonia are presentations more often encountered in elderly persons than in younger adults. The safety and immunogenicity of GBS serotype V-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine in healthy elderly persons suggest the potential for vaccination as an approach to prevention of invasive GBS infections in elderly persons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Soft Tissue Infections / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Infections / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis*
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification*