Tip 45: Group B Streptococcus (GBS)

Early-onset neonatal infection occurs within the first 72 hours of life, and is typically caused by GBS. About 90% of cases with GBS present within 24 hours of birth.

Symptoms of early-onset GBS infection may be non-specific, including temperature instability, poor feeding, excessive crying and respiratory distress. It typically presents with sepsis (69%), pneumonia (26%), respiratory distress (13%), and meningitis (11%).


Health, P., Jardine, L., 2010. Neonatal Infections : Group B Streptococcus, Clinical Evidence, Web publication date: 27 September 2010.

NICE: antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection guideline – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2010). Antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection . CG149. London: NICE.

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