Group B streptococcus and Escherichia coli colonization in pregnant women and neonates in Lithuania

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012 Apr;117(1):69-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.11.016. Epub 2012 Jan 20.


Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of maternal and neonatal colonization with group B streptococcus (GBS) and Escherichia coli, and examine GBS serotypes and susceptibility to antibiotics.

Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was carried out in Lithuania between October 2006 and June 2007. Lower vaginal/rectal swabs were obtained from pregnant women (n=998) and ear canal/throat swabs were obtained from their newborns (n=827) for culture.

Results: Overall, maternal and neonatal GBS colonization rates were 15.3% and 6.4%, respectively. Serotypes III (34.5%) and Ia (29.7%) were most common. All GBS isolates were susceptible to penicillin and 4.1% were resistant to erythromycin. Overall, maternal and neonatal E. coli colonization rates were 19.9% and 14.4%, respectively. In total, 71.4% of newborns with E. coli colonization were born to E. coli-negative mothers. E. coli was resistant to ampicillin and piperacillin in 25.9% and 16.6% of cases, respectively. The majority of E. coli-colonized newborns were contaminated with maternal fecal, but not vaginal, E. coli strains.

Conclusion: Maternal and neonatal GBS colonization rates, serotypes, and susceptibility to antibiotics were comparable to those reported in previous studies. Population-based data regarding early-onset neonatal infection rates will enable the formulation of a prevention program for early-onset GBS disease in Lithuania.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Carrier State / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ear / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / drug therapy
  • Escherichia coli Infections / epidemiology*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / transmission*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Lithuania / epidemiology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pharynx / microbiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rectum / microbiology
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / transmission*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / classification
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / drug effects*
  • Vagina / microbiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents