Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Group B Streptococcus

Group B strep can cause dangerous infections in adults with certain chronic medical conditions.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Group B Streptococcus

Group B strep (streptococcus) is a common bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract.

Insight:

  • The bacterium is usually harmless in healthy adults. In newborns, however, it can cause a serious illness known as group B strep disease.
  • Group B strep can also cause dangerous infections in adults with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or liver disease. Older adults are at increased risk of illness due to group B strep, too.
  • If you're a healthy adult, there's nothing you need to do about group B strep. If you're pregnant, get a group B strep screening test during the third trimester. If you have group B strep, antibiotic treatment during labor can protect the baby.
  • Symptoms may include fever, low body temperature, difficulty feeding, difficulty breathing, irritability, seizures, rash, and jaundice.
  • Diagnosis may include urine culture, lumbar puncture, and chest X-ray.
  • Treatment for infants may include intravenous antibiotics and fluids. Treatment for adults may include oral antibiotics such as cephalexin (Keflex), penicillin, or amoxicillin.

Sources:

Group B strep disease - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

group b strep disease - Google Search