DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Group B streptococcus (strep) is a common bacterium often carried in your intestines or lower genital tract. Group B strep is usually harmless in adults. In newborns, however, it can cause a serious illness known as group B strep disease.
Group B strep can also cause dangerous infections in adults with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or liver disease. Older adults are at increased risk of illness due to group B strep, too.
If you're a healthy adult, there's nothing you need to do about group B strep. If you're pregnant, get a group B strep screening test during your third trimester. If you have group B strep, antibiotic treatment during labor can protect your baby.
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- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed May 30, 2013.
- Barshak M, et al. Group B streptococcal infections in nonpregnant adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 30, 2013.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal disease. MMWR. 2010;59:1. http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/guidelines/guidelines.html. Accessed May 30, 2013.