oa Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases - A retrospective review of group B streptococcal infection in the Metro East area of the Western Cape province : 2010 to 2011 : original research

Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2312-0053



Effective strategies to prevent infant death rely on knowledge of prevalent pathogens. Recent publications have drawn attention to limited data on the contribution of group B streptococcal infection to neonatal and infant mortality in resource-restricted settings. The aim was to describe all cases of group B streptococcal infection isolated from the blood culture of infants up to 90 days of age in two South African hospitals over a two-year period. A retrospective record review took place of infants in whom group B streptococcus was isolated from blood culture or cerebrospinal fluid from January 2010 and December 2011. The maternal records of infants were also reviewed. Data were analysed using Stata® version 1.1. Forty-one cases of group B streptococcal infection were identified, for which 33 records were available for analysis. There was early-onset disease in 14 (42.4%) and late-onset disease in 19 (57.6%) of the infants. Eight (24%) infants were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-exposed. There was a confirmed positive HIV PCR test for one infant only. Six infants had pneumonia, 11 meningitis and two died. Serotyping was not performed. All isolates were sensitive to penicillin. The crude incidence rate was calculated as 0.67/1 000 live births. The incidence rate of group B streptococcal disease was less than that in other African studies. Further data are needed for relevant prevention strategies to be established.

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