Group B Strep Support
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Did regular antenatal urine tests at hospital and GP tell if mother is infected with Strep B?

My baby girl was 3 weeks when she was diagnosed with Strep B and now has meningitis and encephalitis and severe brain damage. I cant stop questioning myself why and how she got it. I had regular urine tests at hospital and GP and I was not at all told that there's a sign of infection anywhere. Iam wondering if those samples were used to test Strep B or any kind of infection?

4 Replies

I stand on better ground with this question....They would have been cultured and if strep b was isolated they would (should) have let you know. I am a nurse and used to work as the health advisor in a genitourinary clinic, if we isolated strep b I would always inform the patient and we would always treat symptomatic patients and also asymptomatic patients if they preferred it. I would also make women aware that they should let their gp/midwife know that strep b had previously been cultured and where we had isolated it (vaginal swab or urine sample) if they ever became pregnant as this was the only time it was likely to cause any problems. So, basically, no, if they did not tell you then you should be able to rest assured that it was not picked up on the samples taken. As you will know, the NHS still does not routinely test mothers for gbs and the swabs they use are not enriched medium cultures so they are not as reliable as they could be. We did discuss this with the person in charge of midwifery services after we nearly lost my granddaughter basically due to their neglect when 4 midwives chose to treat my daughters temperature in labour with paracetamol and insisted our lethargic little one who went twelve hours between feeds was just a 'good baby'.She did not once defend her staff during the complaints procedure, but became quite aggressive when we mentioned that an enriched culture swab might have identified it during her pregnancy when the standard one they used did not. It was very telling.


As WorriedNanny says, urine tests can only find what's in the urine (and they're really rather good at doing that). They won't find GBS carriage as that is identified from swabs taken from the vagina and rectum and the UK health service doesn't offer that.

Whilst early-onset GBS infection (occurring 0-6 days of life) is almost always caused by bacteria carried by the mother, late onset GBS infection (occurring after age 6 days) will sometimes be caused by GBS bacteria carried by the mother, but sometimes not. Research done several decades ago showed that about 50% of babies infected with late-onset GBS infection had the same strain of GBS as their mother, but the rest didn't, so clearly came from somewhere else.

Hope that helps!


My baby had early-onset GBS and nothing was detected during the urine tests done by the midwives/GP.


Refer to and speak to their team if you have any queries. Your GP, midwife and/or consultant will give you advice.


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