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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 method”.

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.