How Placental Group B Strep is Tied to Neonatal Unit Admission in Infants Born at Term

Placental Group B Strep Tied to Neonatal Unit Admission in Infants Born at Term

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in the vaginal or rectal area of women. While GBS is usually harmless in healthy adults, it can pose a serious risk to newborns if transmitted during childbirth. In some cases, GBS infection can lead to neonatal unit admission in infants born at term.

Understanding Placental Group B Strep

Placental Group B Strep refers to the presence of GBS bacteria in the placenta. When a pregnant woman carries GBS in her vaginal or rectal area, there is a chance that the bacteria can be passed to the baby during delivery. This can happen when the baby comes into contact with the mother’s vaginal fluids or when the baby swallows or inhales the bacteria during birth.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

While GBS infection can occur in any newborn, certain factors increase the risk of transmission and subsequent neonatal unit admission in infants born at term. These risk factors include:

  • Prolonged rupture of membranes (water breaking more than 18 hours before delivery)
  • Intrapartum fever (maternal fever during labor)
  • Previous infant with GBS disease
  • Positive GBS screening during pregnancy

Infants who develop GBS infection may exhibit symptoms such as difficulty breathing, fever, lethargy, poor feeding, and irritability. If any of these symptoms are observed, immediate medical attention should be sought.

Prevention and Treatment

Preventing GBS transmission is crucial in reducing the risk of neonatal unit admission. Pregnant women are typically screened for GBS between 35 and 37 weeks of gestation. If positive, intravenous antibiotics are administered during labor to prevent transmission to the baby.

For infants who are admitted to the neonatal unit due to GBS infection, treatment involves intravenous antibiotics to combat the bacterial infection. Close monitoring and supportive care are provided to ensure the baby’s well-being.


Placental Group B Strep can lead to neonatal unit admission in infants born at term. It is important for healthcare providers to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms associated with GBS infection. By implementing proper screening, prevention, and treatment measures, the incidence of neonatal unit admissions due to GBS can be significantly reduced, ensuring the health and safety of newborns.