Group B streptococcal transmission rates as determined by PCR

Erin Cicalese 1 , 2 , Esi Lamousé-Smith 3 , Tara M. Randis 4  and Adam J. Ratner 5
  • 1 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Neonatologist, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, 317 East 34 Street, Suite 902, New York, NY, USA
  • 2 Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
  • 3 Janssen Research and Development, LLC, Spring House, PA, USA
  • 4 Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
  • 5 Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
Erin Cicalese
  • Corresponding author
  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Attending Neonatologist, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, 317 East 34th Street, Suite 902, New York, NY, 10016, USA
  • Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
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, Esi Lamousé-Smith, Tara M. Randis and Adam J. Ratner
  • Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
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Abstract

Background

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a common cause of neonatal sepsis. GBS colonization of the newborn gastrointestinal tract (GIT) may be a critical precursor for late-onset infection. Assessment of the rate of neonatal GBS intestinal colonization has generally relied upon culture-based methods. We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and culture to determine the rate of GBS transmission to neonates. We hypothesized that PCR may enhance the detection of neonatal GBS colonization of the GIT, and that the rate will be higher when evaluated with PCR as compared to culture.

Methods

This was a cross-sectional study, in which mothers who were positive for GBS on routine screening and their healthy infants were eligible for recruitment. Newborn stool was collected after 24 h of life and before hospital discharge, and stored at −80°C for culture and PCR targeting the GBS-specific surface immunogenic protein (sip) gene.

Results

A total of 94 mother-infant pairs were enrolled; of these pairs, stool was collected from 83 infants. Based on PCR, the overall GBS transmission rate was 3.6% (3/83). The transmission rate was 2.4% (1/41) among vaginal deliveries and 4.8% (2/42) among cesarean deliveries. The results of culture-based transmission detection were identical.

Conclusion

These results indicate that the rate of GBS transmission is low and that detection may not be enhanced by PCR methods.

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