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Group B strep; GBS
Group B streptococcal septicemia is a severe bacterial infection that affects newborn infants.
See also: Neonatal sepsis
The term "septicemia" refers to an infection in the bloodstream that may travel to different body organs. Group B streptococcal septicemia is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus agalactiae, which is commonly called "group B strep" or GBS. A newborn with septicemia is very sick.
GBS is commonly found in adults and older children, where it does not usually cause infection. There are two ways in which it may be passed to a newborn baby:
GBS now occurs less often, because methods to screen and treat pregnant women at risk are now being used.
The following increase an infant's risk for group B streptococcal septicemia:
Schrag S, Gorwitz R, Fultz-Butts K, Schuchat A. Prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal disease. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 51(RR-11): 1–22, 2002.
American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. Group B streptococcal infections, in Section 3:Summaries of infectious diseases. Red Book 2009.
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