Screening Strategies for Group B Streptococcus in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy


  • Lorna Schumann PhD, APRN-BC, NP-C, ARNP, CCRN, FNP, ACNP, FAANP,

  • Mary Gerner Woltjen CNM, CRNP, MS

    Corresponding author
    1. Mary Gerner Woltjen, CNM, CRNP, MS is a nurse practitioner/nurse midwife in Philadelphia and a provider for Temple OB/GYN.
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To identify the best screening protocol to prevent neonatal group B streptococcal (GBS) sepsis through literature review.

Data Sources

Selected research articles, texts, and Internet sources.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) have issued guidelines describing methods to identify pregnant women at risk of intrapartum transmission of GBS to their babies. Studies have been conducted to discover the superiority of one prevention method over the other but no consensus has been reached.

Implications for Practice

Before widely used prevention methods, approximately 8,000 babies each year became infected with GBS; of those, 400 died and many survivors suffered life-long sequelae. Adoption of an appropriate protocol can prevent transmission of GBS from a colonized mother to her infant. Clinicians should implement either universal culture-based or risk factor-based screening guidelines for prenatal diagnosis and intrapartum prophylaxis of GBS disease.