CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Many healthy people carry group B strep bacteria in their bodies. Group B strep bacteria aren't sexually transmitted, and they're not spread through food or water. You may carry group B strep in your body for just a short period of time, it may come and go, or you may always have it.
Group B strep can spread to a baby during a vaginal delivery if the baby is exposed to — or swallows — fluids containing group B strep.
Some individuals, such as older adults and those with chronic health conditions, can develop a more serious infection from group B strep. However, the reason this occurs in some people but not others isn't known.
- Puopolo KM, et al. Group B streptococcal infection in neonates and young infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 30, 2013.
- Group B strep. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/about/index.html. Accessed May 30, 2013.
- Hay WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 21st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=14. Accessed May 30, 2013.
- 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.