All Pregnant Women Should Be Screened for Group B Strep

Published Online: Saturday, February 1, 2003

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued new recommendations calling for universal screening of pregnant women for group B streptococci. These pathogens can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy or delivery and are a leading cause of illness and death among newborns in the United States. Antibiotic treatment during labor may prevent transmission to the newborn, however. The new recommendations reflect findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing routine prenatal screening to be more effective than risk-based approaches (ie, assessing clinical risk factors at the time of labor).

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