Failure of penicillin to eradicate group B streptococcal colonization in the pregnant woman. A couple study

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1979 Dec 15;135(8):1062-5. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(79)90737-3.


Prophylactic treatment of couples with oral penicillin has been recommended as a means of eradicating GBS from the parturient female. In 1977 and 1978 this hypothesis was tested in an investigation of couples from a middle and upper socioeconomic group in Houston, Texas. A group of 40 women, known to be colonized with GBS during the third trimester of pregnancy, and their husbands were treated simultaneously with oral penicillin. Patients were recultured 3 weeks following completion of therapy and at the time of delivery. At the time of delivery 67% of the women remained colonized with GBS. This percentage does not differ substantially from that obtained in a series of untreated colonized women. This study demonstrates that oral penicillin treatment of couples is not an effective means of reducing maternal colonization at the time of delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Penicillins / pharmacology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rectum / microbiology
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / drug effects*
  • Urethra / microbiology
  • Vagina / microbiology


  • Penicillins