Group B Streptococcus

Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a common bacterium found in the vagina of about 2 in 10 women in the UK. Being a carrier is not harmful to you, however, many babies come into contact with GBS during labour. The vast majority of babies will suffer no ill effects. However, if GBS is passed from mother to baby at time of the birth, there is a small chance the baby will develop an infection and become seriously ill.  There is no screening program available for GBS in the UK and the NHS currently uses a risk factor approach, which means that some women receive antibiotics when they don’t need them.

IMSPEX are working closely with partners to develop a rapid screening test for Group B Streptococcus, preliminary results are very promising and published work by university of Warwick can be found here.