CDC Evaluates the Effect of Revised Guidelines on the Prevention of Group B Streptococci Disease
In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics revised guidelines for the prevention of perinatal group B streptococci (GBS) disease, which included recommending that health care professionals screen patients to identify candidates for prophylaxis. The CDC has reviewed surveillance data to compare the rates of neonatal and pregnancy-related GBS disease before and after the new guideline was released. Data were reviewed from the two years before (2000 to 2001) and after (2003 to 2005) the publication of the guideline revisions.
From 2003 to 2005, the average incidence of early-onset neonatal GBS disease was 33 percent less than in the pre–guideline revision period; however, although the incidence decreased steadily among white infants between 2003 and 2005, it increased by 70 percent during the same period in black infants. In the years after the guideline revisions, rates of pregnancy-related and late-onset neonatal GBS disease remained stable compared with baseline rates.
Although further research is needed, the authors conclude that these data highlight the need for strategies to reduce the rate of neonatal GBS disease among black infants, evaluation of missed opportunities for prevention, and continued monitoring of disease trends.