• Bushra Yasmin Chaudhry
  • Naeem Akhtar
  • Abbas Hayat Balouch


Background: Maternal vaginal colonisation with Group B Streptococcus (GBS, Streptococcusagalactiae) at the time of delivery can cause vertical transmission to the neonate. GBS is the leadingcause of sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia in the infants. Asymptomatic colonisation of the vagina withGBS varies with the geographical location. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in2009 at Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Lower vaginal swabs were obtained from 200pregnant women at the time of admission in the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Department for term,normal vaginal delivery and swabs from the skin of abdomen and ear canals of their respective neonatesimmediately after delivery were collected. Swabs were inoculated on blood agar and incubatedaerobically and on Group B Streptococcus agar (GBS agar) and incubated anaerobically in an anaerobicjar. Identification of GBS was made on the basis of colonial morphology (β-haemolytic colonies onblood agar and orange pigmented colonies on GBS agar), Gram stain, catalase test and conformation wasdone by means of latex agglutination tests. Results: A GBS carriage rate of 8.5% among pregnantwomen before delivery and an acquisition rate of 53% on the abdominal skin and 18% in the ear canalsby the neonates of colonised mothers were found. Conclusions: GBS colonisation in pregnant womenand its transmission to the neonates is present in our population so GBS infections in the prenatal andneonatal period might not be uncommon in Pakistan, so routine screening should be carried out.Keywords: Group B Streptococcus, vaginal carriage rate, pregnant women, transmission to neonates


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