Capsular Polysaccharide Types of Group B Streptococcal Isolates From Neonates With Early-Onset Systemic Infection

J Infect Dis. 1998 Mar;177(3):790-2. doi: 10.1086/517810.


The distribution of serotypes of group B streptococci (GBS) isolated from 67 infants with early-onset sepsis are described. Case-infants were assembled from 13 hospitals across the United States from 15 July 1995 to 5 February 1997 through prospective active surveillance. The distribution of GBS serotypes was Ia, 40%; Ib, 9%; II, 6%; III, 27%; V, 15%; and nontypeable, 3%. Type V occurred more frequently in the northeast region (New York and New Jersey) than in other regions (29% vs. 9%, P = .06). Conversely, type III occurred significantly less frequently in the northeast region than other regions (10% vs. 35%, P = .04). GBS types Ia, III, and V accounted for 82% of the isolates. This report supports previous observations about the emergence of GBS type V, but our data caution that conclusions about serotype distributions based on one geographic location or on a small number of patients may not be generally applicable. Continued monitoring seems necessary for the design of a GBS vaccine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Capsules / classification*
  • Bacterial Capsules / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sepsis / microbiology*
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / classification*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / immunology