Policy statement—Recommendations for the prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal (GBS) disease

Pediatrics. 2011 Sep;128(3):611-6. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1466. Epub 2011 Aug 1.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for the prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal (GBS) disease were initially published in 1996. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also published a policy statement on this topic in 1997. In 2002, the CDC published revised guidelines that recommended universal antenatal GBS screening; the AAP endorsed these guidelines and published recommendations based on them in the 2003 Red Book. Since then, the incidence of early-onset GBS disease in neonates has decreased by an estimated 80%. However, in 2010, GBS disease remained the leading cause of early-onset neonatal sepsis. The CDC issued revised guidelines in 2010 based on evaluation of data generated after 2002. These revised and comprehensive guidelines, which have been endorsed by the AAP, reaffirm the major prevention strategy--universal antenatal GBS screening and intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis for culture-positive and high-risk women--and include new recommendations for laboratory methods for identification of GBS colonization during pregnancy, algorithms for screening and intrapartum prophylaxis for women with preterm labor and premature rupture of membranes, updated prophylaxis recommendations for women with a penicillin allergy, and a revised algorithm for the care of newborn infants. The purpose of this policy statement is to review and discuss the differences between the 2002 and 2010 CDC guidelines that are most relevant for the practice of pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / standards*
  • Cefazolin / administration & dosage
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / prevention & control
  • Penicillins / administration & dosage
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae*


  • Penicillins
  • Cefazolin