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Group B streptococci - Definition


Group B streptococci are a specific group of bacteria from the streptococcus genus that are naturally present in the digestive tract but not pathogenic, that is they do not cause infection. Nevertheless, these bacteria can migrate and colonize other organs, notably the case when they spread to the reproductive tracts of a woman, although even here these bacteria do not cause infection. They can, however, prove dangerous during pregnancy when they can be transmitted to the newborn during delivery, causing serious infections such as meningitis or pneumonia. This is why pregnant women are systematically tested for this bacteria nearing the end of their term by means of a vaginal sample. If this test comes back positive, antibiotics are administered by IV to the mother as a preventative means from the beginning of labor to delivery.