Group B Streptococcus (group B strep, GBS) emerged in the 1970s as the most common cause of sepsis in newborns. Early-onset disease (occurs in babies younger than 1 week old) declined by 80% since increased use of intrapartum prophylaxis.
More recently, experts recognized the increasing impact invasive GBS disease has on adults. Invasive disease is when bacteria invade a site where there usually are no bacteria, like the blood.
Analyze and visualize ABCs group B strep data using Bact Facts Interactive.
GBS disease is not reportable in most states.
CDC conducts active surveillance for invasive GBS disease through Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs). ABCs covers a multistate population of approximately 37 million, including approximately 445,000 live births annually.
Cases for this active surveillance system have to meet the following case definition:
- GBS bacteria must be isolated from a normally sterile site, such as:
- Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
- Pleural fluid
- Peritoneal fluid
- Pericardial fluid
- Joint/synovial fluid
- Internal body site (e.g., lymph node, brain)
- Case patient must be a resident of one of the defined surveillance areas
- Prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal disease: Revised guidelines from CDC, 2010.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010;59(RR-11):1–32.