Objective: Our purpose was to examine the effects of intrapartum vaginal Group-B streptococcal (GBS) colonization on neonatal signs of infection.
Study design: We performed a quantitative GBS culture of vaginal specimens in 1,280 pregnancies within 24 hours before delivery and examined signs of neonatal infection within 48 hours after birth. Among them, 287 pregnant women had premature ruptures of membranes.
Results: The rate of vaginal GBS colonization in groups with and without ruptured membranes was 22.0% and 11.3%, respectively. The incidence of neonates with signs of infection born to GBS-carrier women in each group was 28.6% and 8.8%, respectively. There were significant differences between the groups with regard to both the rate of colonization and the incidence of infection. Signs of neonatal infection increased in proportion to the maternal GBS concentration only in women with ruptured membranes.
Conclusion: This study suggests that there is an important association between maternal GBS concentration and mild neonatal infections after birth, especially in women with premature ruptures of membranes.