According to the announcement made today at Group B Strep Support’s one-day conference, ‘Prevention of Group B Strep infection in neonates: The way forward in the UK,’ the pilot has resulted in an 80% reduction of infection in new born babies.
Consultant Microbiologist, Dr Gopal Rao OBE, who launched the pilot screening at Northwick Park Hospital said: “The results from the pilot are really encouraging. We have seen an 80 per cent reduction in the numbers of babies being born with GBS from one in every 1,000 births in unscreened mothers to one in every 5,000 births in screened mothers.”
Group B Strep is one of the most life-threatening infections a new born baby can contract.
According to the charity Group B Strep Support, one baby develops the infection every day and one dies from the infection every week.
The charity has also said that tests are routine for pregnant women in the USA, Spain, France, Italy and more, with the rate of infection falling by 71-86%.
Chief Executive of Group B Strep Support, Jane Plumb MBE said: “The findings of the pilot show, for the first time in the UK, how effective screening pregnant women with GBS-specific tests is at reducing these devastating infections in new born babies.
The current strategy has failed to reduce the rate of GBS infections since its introduction in 2003, and the numbers have been rising.
It is time for change.”
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