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Seedat; et al (2019) Universal antenatal screening for group B streptococcus may cause more harm than good. British Medical Journal. 364 10.1136/bmj.l463

Seedat, F; Geppert, J; Stinton, C; Patterson, J; Freeman, K; Johnson, SA; Fraser, H; Brown, CS; Uthman, OA; Tan, B; Robinson, ER; McCarthy, ND; Clarke, A; Marshall, J; Visintin, C; Mackie, A; Taylor-Phillips, S (2019) Universal antenatal screening for group B streptococcus may cause more harm than good. British Medical Journal. 364 10.1136/bmj.l463

  • Early onset group B streptococcus (GBS) disease is an important health problem and efforts should continue to better understand and prevent it

  • Selective maternal culture is not an accurate test to predict early onset GBS disease in neonates, and we don’t know why some colonised mothers have a neonate with early onset GBS and others don’t

  • The current approach to screening would lead to 99.8% of screen positive women and their babies receiving unnecessary intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis

  • Lack of high quality evidence on clinical outcomes makes it impossible to quantify whether universal GBS screening would have any benefit and assess whether large scale intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis is safe

  • A universal antenatal culture screening programme cannot currently be recommended

Thu 14 Mar 2019, 07:55