Group B streptococci (GBS) remain the most common cause of early onset neonatal sepsis. In 2003 the Spanish Societies of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Neonatology, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Chemotherapy, and Family and Community Medicine published updated recommendations for the prevention of early onset neonatal GBS infection. It was recommended to study all pregnant women at 35-37 weeks gestation to determine whether they were colonised by GBS, and to administer intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) to all colonised women. There has been a significant reduction in neonatal GBS infection in Spain following the widespread application of IAP. Today most cases of early onset GBS neonatal infection are due to false negative results in detecting GBS, to the lack of communication between laboratories and obstetric units, and to failures in implementing the prevention protocol. In 2010, new recommendations were published by the CDC, and this fact, together with the new knowledge and experience available, has led to the publishing of these new recommendations. The main changes in these revised recommendations include: microbiological methods to identify pregnant GBS carriers and for testing GBS antibiotic sensitivity, and the antibiotics used for IAP are updated; The significance of the presence of GBS in urine, including criteria for the diagnosis of UTI and asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy are clarified; IAP in preterm labour and premature rupture of membranes, and the management of the newborn in relation to GBS carrier status of the mother are also revised. These recommendations are only addressed to the prevention of GBS early neonatal infection, are not effective against late neonatal infection.
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