Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is cause of neonatal invasive diseases as well as of severe infections in the elderly and immune-compromised patients. Despite significant advances in the prevention and treatment of neonatal disease, sepsis and meningitis caused by GBS still represent a significant public health care concern globally and additional prevention and therapeutic strategies against infection are highly desirable. The introduction of national recommended guidelines in several countries to screen pregnant women for GBS carriage and the use of antibiotics during delivery significantly reduced disease occurring within the first hours of life (early-onset disease), but it has had no effect on the late-onset diseases occurring after the first week and is not feasible in most countries. Availability of an effective vaccine against GBS would provide an effective means of controlling GBS disease. This review provides an overview of the burden of invasive disease caused by GBS in infants and adults, and highlights the strategies for the development of an effective vaccine against GBS infections.
Keywords: CPS-based conjugate vaccine; early-onset disease; group B Streptococcus; late-onset disease; protein-based vaccine.