Strep B

GnedC gnedc at
Tue Mar 28 23:35:37 EST 1995

Streptococcus agalactiae is also known as Lancefield Group B strep.  It is
an organism found in the G.I tract of many humans and finds its way into
the vagina of pregnant (and non-pregnant) women.  It can cause an
inflammation of the cervix, but usually is carried without symptoms.  The
newborn contracts the organism in the birth canal.  Newborns, when
infected, can died from an ovewhelming septicemia and/or meningitis. Th
organism is also responsible for a number of other kinds of infections
such as urinary tract infections and pharyngitis.

The organism is detected either by culture of the cervix and/or rectum of
the mother during the last weeks of the the pregnancy or by detecting the
antigen of the organism in amniotic fluid.  The mother is given a large
dose of an antibiotic, usually ampicillin/amoxicillin during labor, so the
the baby is literally bathed in antibiotic in the amniotic fluid.  

Ned Christensen
Eugene, OR

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