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Detection of Group B Streptococcal Infection

Russel D. Jelsema, MD
JAMA. 1997;278(16):1316-1317. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550160036023.
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To the Editor.  —In the article from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),1 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consensus is described as having "resulted in a new standard for detecting GBS [group B streptococcal] colonization in pregnant women. Vaginal-rectal cultures should be obtained at 35 to 37 weeks of gestation and be performed using selective broth media." The impression given by Dr Nightingale is that this is the recommended strategy.In fact, the May 31, 1996, CDC publication2 stated, "Obstetric care practitioners, in conjunction with supporting laboratories and labor and delivery facilities, should adopt a strategy for the prevention of early onset GBS disease." Two strategies are offered. One provides for obtaining cultures from women at 35 to 37 weeks, and the other for treatment only of women with risk factors as specified by the CDC. While it is not surprising that the lay press and


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