Group B Streptococci (GBS) or Streptococcus agalactiae are among the most frequent causes of life-threatening infectious in neonates. Between 5% and 30% of all pregnant women are colonized with GBS.1 Several recent studies have shown that the intrapartum treatment of GBS-colonized women significantly reduces the incidence of GBS-caused sepsis.2-4 The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine examination for Group B streptococcus between the 35th and the 37th week of pregnancy. A CDC study has shown that routine examinations is 50% more effective than the use of antibiotics for pregnant women with clinical risk factors.
Standard culture methods require 24 to 48 hours, and the results may not be available soon enough for efficient treatment. Thus, methods utilizing more rapid screening techniques are required.