Group B streptococcus colonization of pregnant women and their children observed on obstetric and neonatal wards of the University Hospital in Krakow, Poland

J Med Microbiol. 2009 Feb;58(Pt 2):228-233. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.002865-0.


The study was arranged to assess the actual rates of colonization of pregnant women and their children with group B streptococcus (GBS) in a Polish university hospital. Resistance of these cocci to macrolides and clindamycin was also tested and routes of transmission of GBS were followed in some cases using molecular typing. Colonization with GBS was checked in 340 pregnant women living in the south-eastern region of Poland (Małopolska) in the years 2004-2006. Women with a complicated pregnancy were more often colonized than those with a normal pregnancy (20.0 % versus 17.2 %). Moreover, women with a complicated pregnancy were twice as often colonized with GBS strains with the MLS(B) phenotype indicating resistance to macrolides and clindamycin. Regarding neonatal colonization by GBS, we found that neonates born from the colonized mothers with a complicated pregnancy were more often colonized with GBS than those from the mothers with a normal pregnancy (35 % versus 26.7 %). By molecular typing of the GBS strains isolated from mothers and their newborns we have been able to suggest the possibility of horizontal transmission of the strains from the hospital environment to newborns. Our results clearly indicate that rates of GBS colonization among pregnant women and neonates in a Polish university hospital have reached levels comparable to those reported in other European clinical centres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Carrier State / epidemiology
  • Carrier State / microbiology*
  • Carrier State / transmission*
  • Clindamycin / pharmacology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Macrolides / pharmacology
  • Poland
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Technique
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / transmission*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / classification
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / drug effects
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / genetics
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / isolation & purification*
  • Vagina / microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Macrolides
  • Clindamycin