Group B Strep (GBS)

Somewhere last year I was made aware of the existence of Microbirth. Then I did the mini taster course on GBS and found it very interesting. So I signed up for the whole thing.

This course taught me an awful lot about Group B Strep. It als made me think a lot about why some babies do get ill from it and some babies do not. Why some mothers are colonised and others are not. Since I have done a course on the microbiome and it has made me wonder whether the starting point in the life of a baby will have an influence as the microbiome needs to be seeded at the right time and fed at the right time to get the most optimal microbiome.

The differences between how countries approach this is issue is also quite interesting. The UK does take the approach of risk factors as do other countries. The USA takes the approach of testing every woman at the time of 35-37 weeks pregnancy as do other countries as well.

I do see the issues with both approaches as neither is fail safe.


The risk approach means that nobody really knows which woman is colonised and which woman is not. The risk factors are whether the membranes have been ruptured over 18 hours, whether the temperature of the mothers goes over 38C or 100.4F, the baby is born before 37 full weeks of pregnancy or a previous baby was infected.

The approach with testing means that every pregnant woman gets tested at the time between 35-37 weeks pregnancy. The problem with that is that a colonisation of the vagina comes and goes. So a large percentage of women who are tested positive get intravenous antimicrobial prophylaxis while not needing anymore as they have cleared it themselves. And then there are about 10% of women who are tested negative who do end up colonised at birth.

Basically this means that both approaches are a bit hit and miss unfortunately.

Either way it was a very good course to do, it certainly gave me a lot to think about and wishes to learn more.