Help Save a Baby by Spreading the Word About GBS
July is International GBS Awareness Month
Many people never hear about Group B Streptococcus (GBS) before having children — and sometimes not even then. But this is actually a serious public health threat. The CDC states that in the U.S., GBS is the primary cause of sepsis and meningitis in infants during the first week after birth. Babies who survive the infection are likely to suffer serious disabilities later in life.
GBS can be passed from mother to infant during birth. One eye-opening statistic from the CDC is that 25% of healthy mothers carry these bacteria vaginally or rectally, making it a common source of infections for their children. Fortunately, testing mothers for GBS before delivery can help doctors prevent the onset of infection in newborns. That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness about this condition, and why July has been named International GBS Awareness Month.
For most women, GBS testing is routinely performed between the 35th and 37th weeks of pregnancy; in cases where tests come back positive, doctors can take necessary steps during delivery to ensure the best possible infant health outcomes. But women without access to good prenatal care can miss this screening step, and premature delivery often happens before GBS testing would have been done.
The rise of molecular testing has made GBS detection far more accurate over traditional methods. Here at Luminex, we’re proud to offer an FDA cleared ARIES® GBS Assay, based on real-time PCR that speeds time to results and delivers higher sensitivity and specificity than traditional culture-based tests. It’s just one of many assays we have developed to improve healthcare for women and babies.
For more information on this important topic, check out this recent article in MLO from our own Anjana Bhattacharya, PhD and Sherry Dunbar, PhD
If you know someone who can benefit from this information, please visit the Group B Strep International (GBSI) website for helpful resources. Help us spread the word.