Group B streptococcal screening, intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis, and neonatal early-onset infection rates in an Australian local health district: 2006-2016

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2019, 14 (4)
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© 2019 Braye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) to reduce the likelihood of neonatal early-onset group B streptococcal infection (EOGBS) has coincided with major reductions in incidence. While the decline has been largely ascribed to IAP following either universal screening or a risk-based approach to identify mothers whose babies may most benefit from IAP, there is lack of high quality evidence to support this view. Aims To describe management of maternal GBS colonisation in one local health district using universal screening and assess rates of EOGBS over time. Methods A retrospective cohort study was undertaken to describe compliance with GBS management, to determine the incidence of EOGBS and association between rates and maternal screening. Linking routinely collected maternity and pathology data, we explored temporal trends using logistic regression and covariates for potential effect modifiers. Results Our cohort included 62,281 women who had 92,055 pregnancies resulting in 93,584 live born babies. Screening occurred in 76% of pregnancies; 69% had a result recorded, 21.5% of those were positive for GBS. Prophylaxis was used by 79% of this group. Eighteen babies developed EOGBS, estimated incidence/1000 live births in 2006 and 2016 was 0.35 (95% CI, 0.07 to 0.63) and 0.1 (95% CI, 0 to 0.2) respectively. Seven of 10 term babies with EOGBS were born to mothers who screened negative. Data were unable to provide evidence of difference in rates of EOGBS between screened and unscreened pregnancies. We estimated the difference in EOGBS incidence from crude and weighted models to be 0 (95% CI, -0. 2 to 0.17) and -0.01 (95% CI, -0.13 to 0.10) /1000 live births respectively. Conclusion No change was detected in rates of EOGBS over time and no difference in EOGBS in babies of screened and unscreened populations. Screening and prophylaxis rates were modest. Limitations of universal screening suggest alternatives be considered.
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