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Background: Existing guidelines recommend different strategies to prevent early-onset neonatal GBS sepsis. In 1997, using our own data on incidence and risk factors, we established a new prevention strategy which includes GBS screening at 36 weeks' gestation and intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) in women with positive or unknown GBS colonization with at least one risk factor. The present study evaluates the efficacy of the new prevention strategy.
Methods: Retrospective study of the incidence of early-onset GBS sepsis among all live births at the University Women's Hospital Basel between 1997 and 2002. Additional analysis of delivery and post partum period of all GBS sepsis cases, including GBS screening, risk factors during labor (prematurity, rupture of membranes (ROM) <12 h, intrapartum signs of infection), and IAP. Comparison of this group's characteristics G2 (9,385 live births, using the new strategy) with the previous group, G1 (1984–1993, 16,126 live births, without GBS screening or routine IAP) was performed.
Results: The incidence of early-onset GBS sepsis was reduced from 1/1000 (G1) to 0.53/1000 (G2). We observed a significant reduction of overall intrapartum riskfactors in cases of GBS sepsis.
Conclusion: This study suggests that our new prevention strategy is effective in reducing the incidence of early-onset GBS sepsis in neonates. In comparison, implementation of the CDC's prevention strategy might have prevented 2 additional cases in 9385 live births. However, this would have required treating a much larger number of pregnant women with IAP with consequential increasing costs, side effects and complications.
Keywords: Antibiotic prophylaxis; early onset sepsis; female; group B streptococcus; newborn; pregnancy complications; risk factors; streptococcal infections/pc [prevention & control]; streptococcus agalactiae; Switzerland
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