Background: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is one of the leading causes of sepsis and meningitis in newborn. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of GBS meningitis in children aged between 7 and 89 days (late onset disease - LOD group) and to compare them with children aged more than 3 months (ultra late onset disease - ULOD group).
Methods: Clinical and biological data were gathered by ACTIV/GPIP (a nationwide active surveillance network). The study population included 242 children hospitalized between 2001 and 2006 for GBS meningitis (220 in the LOD group and 22 in the ULOD group).
Results: Univariate analysis revealed that gestational age (GA) was significantly lower in the ULOD group as compared with the LOD group (respectively 35.6 weeks vs. 37.9 weeks, p = 0.002). Prevalence of early preterm birth (before the 32nd week GA) was significantly higher in the ULOD group than in the LOD group (32% vs. 7%, p = 0.002). No significant difference was found between the two groups for biological characteristics of lumbar puncture, GBS serotypes, complications and survival rate.
Conclusion: These data suggest that LOD and ULOD would be the same clinical and bacteriological entity, except for prematurity, which seems significantly associated with ULOD.