Is Group B Streptococcus Colonization Associated with Maternal Peripartum Infection in an Era of Routine Prophylaxis?

Am J Perinatol. 2021 Aug;38(S 01):e262-e268. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1709666. Epub 2020 May 23.


Objective: This study aimed to assess whether colonization with group B streptococcus (GBS) is associated with maternal peripartum infection in an era of routine prophylaxis.

Study design: This study presented a secondary analysis of women delivering ≥37 weeks who underwent a trial of labor from the U.S. Consortium on Safe Labor (CSL) study. The exposure was maternal GBS colonization and the outcome was a diagnosis of chorioamnionitis, and secondarily, analyses were restricted to deliveries not admitted in labor and measures of postpartum infection (postpartum fever, endometritis, and surgical site infection). Logistic regression with generalized estimating equations was used accounting for within-woman correlations. Models adjusted for maternal age, parity, race, prepregnancy body mass index, pregestational diabetes, insurance status, study site/region, year of delivery, number of vaginal exams from admission to delivery, and time (in hours) from admission to delivery.

Results: Among 170,804 assessed women, 33,877 (19.8%) were colonized with GBS and 5,172 (3.0%) were diagnosed with chorioamnionitis. While the frequency of GBS colonization did not vary by chorioamnionitis status (3.0% in both groups), in multivariable analyses, GBS colonization was associated with slightly lower odds of chorioamnionitis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 0.89; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83-0.96). In secondary analyses, this association held regardless of spontaneous labor on admission; and the odds of postpartum infectious outcomes were not higher with GBS colonization.

Conclusion: In contrast to historical data, GBS colonization was associated with lower odds of chorioamnionitis in an era of routine GBS screening and prophylaxis.

Key points: · Data in an era prior to routine group B streptococcus (GBS) screening and prophylaxis showed that maternal GBS colonization was associated with a higher frequency of maternal peripartum infection.. · In the current study, GBS colonization was associated with lower odds of chorioamnionitis in an era of routine GBS screening and prophylaxis.. · The results highlight potential benefits of GBS screening and intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis beyond neonatal disease prevention, including mitigating the risk of maternal infectious morbidity..

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Chorioamnionitis / epidemiology*
  • Chorioamnionitis / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Peripartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult