The spectrum of perinatal group B streptococcal disease

Vaccine. 2013 Aug 28;31 Suppl 4:D3-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.02.030.


The progressive unfolding, over four decades, of an understanding of group B Streptococcus (GBS) and its global disease burden support the rationale for maternal immunization as a key strategy to prevent GBS perinatal infections. This review highlights, in historical context, the recognition of GBS as a human pathogen, definition of epidemiologic features of disease, pathogenesis, outcomes, impact of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis, development of glycoconjugate vaccines and appreciation of the global scope of GBS perinatal disease. These cumulative advances in the GBS field coupled with an increasing acceptance of immunization during pregnancy suggest the timing is optimal for introduction of a glycoconjugate GBS vaccine for use in pregnant women.

Keywords: CDC; CPS; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; GBS; Group B Streptococcus; IAI; IAP; Ig; Maternal immunization; Meningitis; Neonates; PROM; PTL; Pregnancy; TT; US; United States; Vaccine; capsular polysaccharide; group B Streptococcus; immunoglobulin; intra-amniotic infection; intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis; preterm labor; prolonged rupture of membranes; tetanus toxoid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / microbiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Streptococcal Infections* / drug therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Streptococcal Infections* / prevention & control
  • Streptococcal Vaccines / immunology*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / drug effects
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / immunology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Streptococcal Vaccines