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Prenatal and neonatal Group B Streptococcus screening and serotyping in Lebanon: incidence and implications


Khalid Yunis, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut-Medical Center. P.O. Box: 113-6044, Beirut, Lebanon, E-mail:


The study aimed at determining the prevalence, risk factors, perinatal transmission, and serotypes of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) among pregnant women and their newborns in Beirut, Lebanon. This was a cross-sectional study of all pregnant women admitted from February to September 2006 to three major hospitals. Overall, 137 of 775 (17.7%) mothers and 50 of 682 newborns (7.3%) tested positive for GBS. Maternal colonization was not associated with maternal age, household income, gravidity, intrapartum fever, preterm labor, or premature rupture of membrane. Transmission rate was 40/120 (30%). Serotype 5 (24.1%) was the most common followed by serotype 1a (15.0%), 3 (14.4%), 2 (11.8%) and 1b (7.5%). Pregnant women in Lebanon appear to have a relatively high prevalence of GBS colonization with no identifiable risk factors for its acquisition. These results could provide basis for the institution of a national policy for universal maternal GBS screening to reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality.