Group B strep

Group B streptococcus, known as group B strep, is one of many kinds of streptococcus bacteria that infect humans. Although group B strep can live in a healthy person's body without causing illness, it can be life-threatening.

People at-risk for severe group B strep infection include newborns who catch it from their mothers during childbirth and people with weakened immune systems (as from chronic illness or cancer treatment).

Group B strep is treated with antibiotics. All pregnant women are tested for group B strep during pregnancy. To prevent newborn infection, any women with Group B strep infection is treated in the last weeks of pregnancy or during labor.

Last Updated: May 5, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Jennifer Merchant, MD - Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

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