Concerns about gbs and labor


Question: I was tested positive for GBS in April last year. Was treated. Now pregnant was scheduled to do another test at 32 weeks. What if the test came back neg or postive. Do i still need treatment during labor....? #worried mom.

1 Reply

  • Hi Deekz,

    Group B Strep carriage can quite naturally come and go from the vagina so the bacteria can be there one month and not the next … and back again at some other time (though research has shown that, using sensitive tests, the results are highly predictive of colonisation status for around five weeks). There is currently no good data that can predict carriage of GBS over periods of a year or more. However, since there may be some increased chance of a woman carrying GBS in a pregnancy if GBS has been isolated previously, it is the view of our medical panel that, if possible the pregnant woman should be offered a reliable test (see for details) at 35-37 weeks of pregnancy to establish whether she is still carrying GBS. If the test is positive, then she should be offered intravenous antibiotics as soon as possible once labour has started.

    If a reliable test result is not available and labour starts after 37 weeks of pregnancy, then the view of our medical panel is that previous carriage status should be treated as an additional risk factor (increasing the risk of a baby developing GBS infection where preventative antibiotics in labour are not given from an estimated 1 in 1,000 in the general population, to approximately 1 in 500 for a woman whose current GBS status is unknown, but where GBS was isolated before the current pregnancy).

    Our medical panel’s view is that the ‘previous carrier’ risk factor alone is insufficient to recommend offering intravenous antibiotics in labour against GBS infection in the baby, unless another clinical risk factor was also present.

    I hope that helps, any further questions do let us know. You may find the information at helpful.

    Best wishes,


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