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This refers to a type of bacteria, normally present in a woman's body, which can infect a pregnant mother and have serious consequences in the baby.
Normally these bacteria are present in the urinary tract and rectal areas and do not cause any disease. It is in some women during pregnancy, they creep into the birth passage and infect the membranes causing complications.
Usually no symptoms are seen in the mother. Yet, it may cause PPROM and preterm labor pains. In the baby, two types of illness can occur. Immediately after birth, a respiratory illness can develop causing breathing difficulty. A delayed illness seen after the first week can involve the brain and cause neurological problems.
In high risk women screening for the bacteria can be done and appropriate antibiotics are then administered. The same antibiotics may be required during the time of delivery to prevent transmission to the baby.
All women who are colonized with the bacteria do not get infected in pregnancy. Only a small number of pregnant women affected will transmit the bacteria to their babies. However, as the disease in the babies is a serious one and more so if born preterm, all women diagnosed with group B streptococci ought to receive appropriate antibiotics at the time of delivery.
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