Invasive Group B Streptococcal Disease in Non-Pregnant Adults : A Review With Emphasis on Skin and Soft-Tissue Infections

Infection. 2008 Mar;36(2):100-11. doi: 10.1007/s15010-007-7251-0. Epub 2008 Jan 12.


Streptococcus agalactiae, commonly referred as group B Streptococcus (GBS), is a major cause of neonatal sepsis and infections in pregnant women. However, the number of invasive infections in non-pregnant adults is growing. Elderly patients and those with chronic underlying conditions, such as diabetes mellitus or compromised immune defence, are at increased risk of invasion. The spectrum of clinical manifestations is broad and includes necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome. Although, primary bacteremia and skin and soft-tissue infections are the most frequently reported diagnosis. This article reviews the epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of invasive GBS disease in non-pregnant adults, with an emphasis on skin and soft-tissue infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Shock, Septic / epidemiology
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial* / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial* / epidemiology
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial* / immunology
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial* / microbiology
  • Soft Tissue Infections* / drug therapy
  • Soft Tissue Infections* / epidemiology
  • Soft Tissue Infections* / immunology
  • Soft Tissue Infections* / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections* / drug therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Streptococcal Infections* / immunology
  • Streptococcal Infections* / microbiology
  • Streptococcus agalactiae* / genetics
  • Streptococcus agalactiae* / immunology
  • Streptococcus agalactiae* / pathogenicity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents