Diseases & Conditions


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Streptococcus, Group B


Synonyms of Streptococcus, Group B
  • GBS
  • Group B Streptococcal Septicemia of the Newborn
  • Lancefield Group B Streptococcus
  • Sepsis of the Newborn
  • Streptococcus Agalactiae

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Adult Onset Streptococcus, Group B
  • Infant Early-Onset Streptococcus, Group B
  • Infant Late-Onset Streptococcus, Group B


General Discussion
Group B streptococcus (group B strep) is a type of bacteria that causes infection among newborns, pregnant women or women after childbirth, females after gynecologic surgery, and older male and female patients with other serious diseases.

Group B strep remains the most common cause among newborns (neonates) of infection of the blood (septicemia) and of the brain (meningitis). The responsible bacterium, usually S. agalactiae, may be found most often in the vagina and rectum of females and may be transmitted sexually, as well as to a fetus as the infant passes through the birth canal.

Group B strep infection of newborns may be prevented by giving pregnant women who are carriers antibiotics through the vein (intravenously) during labor. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that any pregnant woman who has had a baby with group B strep disease in the past, who has a bladder (urinary tract) infection caused by group B strep, or who tests positive for group B strep during pregnancy should receive antibiotics during labor.

Prevention and prompt treatment are important because group B strep infections may become life-threatening among newborns.

GBS disease is said to be early onset if it is obvious within the first week of life. It is said to be late onset if the disease is evident after the first week of life and before the end of the first three months. Those at greatest risk of GBS disease are newborn children of infected mothers, women after childbirth, females after gynecologic surgery and older male and female patients with other serious diseases.
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Organizations related to Streptococcus, Group B
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Road NE
    Atlanta GA 30333
    Phone #: 404-639-3534
    800 #: 800-311-3435
    e-mail: http://www.cdc.gov/netinfo.htm
    Home page: http://www.cdc.gov/
  • Group B Strep Association
    P.O. Box 16515
    Chapel Hill NC 27516
    Phone #: N/A
    800 #: --
    e-mail: bstrep@mindspring.com
    Home page: http://www.groupbstrep.org
  • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
    150 Custer Court
    Green Bay WI 54301-1243
    Phone #: 920-336-5333
    800 #: 877-336-5333
    e-mail: mums@netnet.net
    Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
  • NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    6610 Rockledge Drive
    Bethesda MD 20892-6612
    Phone #: 301-496-5717
    800 #: --
    e-mail: N/A
    Home page: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html