Types of Infection

Among babies, there are 2 main types of group B strep (GBS) disease:

  • Early-onset — occurs during the first week of life.
  • Late-onset — occurs from the first week through three months of life.

Early-onset disease used to be the most common type of GBS disease in babies. Today, because of effective early-onset disease prevention, early- and late-onset disease occur at similarly low rates.

For early-onset disease, GBS most commonly causes:

  • Bacteremia (bloodstream infection) and sepsis (the body’s extreme response to an infection)
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord)

Similar illnesses are associated with late-onset GBS disease. However, meningitis is more common with late-onset GBS disease than with early-onset GBS disease.