Serotype distribution of invasive group B streptococcal isolates in Maryland: implications for vaccine formulation. Maryland Emerging Infections Program

J Infect Dis. 1998 Apr;177(4):998-1002. doi: 10.1086/515260.


Invasive group B streptococcal (GBS) infection is a major health problem among infants and adults. The formulation of GBS vaccines depends on knowledge of the GBS serotype distribution. Serotype V GBS infection appears to have recently emerged, suggesting that the serotype distribution changes over time. GBS isolates from 210 pediatric patients, 23 pregnant women, and 314 nonpregnant adults with invasive infection in Maryland were studied. The predominant serotypes from infants with early-onset disease were as follows: serotype III, 38% of isolates; serotype Ia, 36%; serotype V, 13%; and serotype II, 11%. Although the majority (60%) of isolates among infants with late-onset infection were serotype III, serotype Ia (23%) was also common. The predominant serotype among isolates from nonpregnant adult patients was serotype V, accounting for 29% of the isolates. The serotype distribution differs between pediatric patients and adults and is changing over time. The inclusion of a relatively small number of serotypes in a GBS vaccine could provide protection against the vast majority of isolates.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Streptococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / classification*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / immunology*
  • Time Factors


  • Bacterial Vaccines