Risk of Early-Onset Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Disease with Maternal Colonization Worldwide: Systematic Review and Meta-analyses

Neal J. Russell*, Anna C. Seale, Catherine O'Sullivan, Kirsty Le Doare, Paul T. Heath, Joy E. Lawn, Linda Bartlett, Clare Cutland, Michael Gravett, Margaret Ip, Shabir A. Madhi, Craig E. Rubens, Samir K. Saha, Stephanie Schrag, Ajoke Sobanjo-Ter Meulen, Johan Vekemans, Carol J. Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Early-onset group B streptococcal disease (EOGBS) occurs in neonates (days 0.6) born to pregnant women who are rectovaginally colonized with group B Streptococcus (GBS), but the risk of EOGBS from vertical transmission has not been systematically reviewed. This article, the seventh in a series on the burden of GBS disease, aims to estimate this risk and how it varies with coverage of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP), used to reduce the incidence of EOGBS. Methods. We conducted systematic reviews (Pubmed/Medline, Embase, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS), World Health Organization Library Information System [WHOLIS], and Scopus) and sought unpublished data from investigator groups on maternal GBS colonization and neonatal outcomes. We included articles with.200 GBS colonized pregnant women that reported IAP coverage. We did meta-analyses to determine pooled estimates of risk of EOGBS, and examined the association in risk of EOGBS with IAP coverage. Results. We identified 30 articles including 20 328 GBS-colonized pregnant women for inclusion. The risk of EOGBS in settings without an IAP policy was 1.1% (95% confidence interval [CI],.6%.1.5%). As IAP increased, the risk of EOGBS decreased, with a linear association. Based on linear regression, the risk of EOGBS in settings with 80% IAP coverage was predicted to be 0.3% (95% CI, 0.9). Conclusions. The risk of EOGBS among GBS-colonized pregnant women, from this first systematic review, is consistent with previous estimates from single studies (1%.2%). Increasing IAP coverage was linearly associated with decreased risk of EOGBS disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S152-S159
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support. This supplement was supported by a grant to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Grant ID: OPP1131158).

Funding Information:
Potential conflicts of interest. Many contributors to this supplement have received funding for their research from foundations, especially the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and several from Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council UK, the Thrasher Foundation, the Meningitis Research Foundation, and one individual from the US National Institutes of Health. Members of the Expert Advisory Group received reimbursement for travel expenses to attend working meetings related to this series. A. S.-t. M. works for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. C. J. B. has served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee for Seqirus Inc and of the CureVac Inc Scientific Advisory Committee, as well as undertaken consultancy work for Pfizer Inc. C. C. has received institutional compensation from Novartis for conducting GBS studies. P. T. H. has been a consultant to Novartis and Pfizer on GBS vaccines but received no funding for these activities. M. I. has undertaken sponsored research from Pfizer on pneumococcal disease in adults and from Belpharma Eumedica (Belgium) on temocillin antimicrobial susceptibility in Enterobacteriaceae. K. L. D. has received funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work on research on GBS serocorrelates of protection to inform vaccine trials, and travel expenses from Pfizer to attend a meeting on an investigator-led project on GBS. S. A. M. has collaborated on G. B. S. grants funded by GlaxoSmithKline and by Pfizer and received personal fees for being member of its advisory committee; he has also collaborated on a GBS grant funded by Minervax. All other authors report no potential conflicts of interest. All authors have submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Conflicts that the editors consider relevant to the content of the manuscript have been disclosed.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author.


  • Streptococcus agalactiae
  • group B Streptococcus
  • neonatal sepsis.
  • risk
  • vertical transmission


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk of Early-Onset Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Disease with Maternal Colonization Worldwide: Systematic Review and Meta-analyses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this