Strep B Test
|Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is
found in the vagina/ or lower intestine of 10-35% of all healthy adult
women. GBS should not be confused with Group A Strep, which causes strep
throat. GBS bacteria are a normal bacteria found in the intestines. A person
who has no symptoms of infection but is carrying GBS bacteria is said to be
“colonized” with GBS. GBS colonization is not contagious.
However, if GBS enters other areas of the body like the blood stream or the
lungs it can cause serious life-threatening infections. When this happens a
person is said to have GBS disease.
An estimated 15,000 to 18,000 adult women and newborn infants will contract
serious GBS disease in the United States each year. About half of all GBS
disease occurs in newborns and is acquired during childbirth when a baby
comes into direct contact with the bacteria carried by the mother.
The good news is if the mother receives antibiotic treatment during labor,
this disease can be stopped and the newborn will not be infected. Our
laboratory can provide test results in less than an hour by using the IDI
Strep B assay. This is currently the only diagnostic test that is FDA
approved for GBS testing, which replaces the old “24-48 hour culture
The test’s greatest strength lies in its ability to identify women at risk
of delivering infected infants at the time of labor, thereby potentially
decreasing the number of infected newborns.