Prevalence of Capsular Serotype, Pilus Island Distribution, and Antibiotic Resistance in Pediatric and Adult Invasive Group B Streptococcus Isolates: Data From a Nationwide Prospective Surveillance Study in Germany

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2021 Jan;40(1):76-82. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002943.


For neonates, group B Streptococcus is life threatening. Current prevention strategies remain insufficient, especially for cases of late-onset sepsis, where intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis has demonstrated no benefit. One promising approach is the vaccination of pregnant women, which offers protective immunity via transplacental transmission of neutralizing antibodies. Our nationwide, prospective surveillance study aimed to characterize the prevalence of pilus antigen, capsular polysaccharide serotypes, and antibiotic resistance from invasive GBS infections in neonates and compare these results with those from children and adults in Germany. Our study includes 173 neonatal isolates of a total of 450 reported cases during the study period (incidence: 0.34/1000 live births), in addition to 2 pediatric and 803 adult isolates. The comparison between neonatal and adult isolates reveals age-dependent differences in capsular serotype and pilus type distribution and differences in antibiotic resistance patterns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Capsules / genetics
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / genetics
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Serogroup
  • Streptococcal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Streptococcal Infections* / microbiology
  • Streptococcus agalactiae* / drug effects
  • Streptococcus agalactiae* / genetics
  • Streptococcus agalactiae* / pathogenicity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents