Group B Streptococcus Testing - £59

Group B Streptococcus Testing (GBS) £59

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborn babies in the UK. Group B Strep (GBS) is a bacteria present in the vagina and bowel of around 20% of women in the UK.  It does not cause harm or any health concerns in the women that carry it.  

However, It can become a problem for babies in the women that carry it when their water's break. A small number of babies will be exposed to it and some will get a potentially serious infection. Group B Streptococcus is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborn babies, and of meningitis in babies up to age 3 months. 

A vaginal swab test to test for Group B Strep at around 36 weeks of pregnancy for women planning a vaginal birth. If the test is positive then antibiotics can be given to the woman in labour to reduce the risk of infection in the baby or the baby can have closer monitoring after birth for signs of infection. 

To Contact us for more information to know about these blood test call  📞 01138301371  to speak with the Healthcare Professional

What is Group B Streptococcus (GBS)?

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborn babies, and of meningitis in babies up to age 3 months. Intravenous antibiotics in labour are highly effective at preventing GBS infection in newborn babies, reducing the risk for a baby born to a woman carrying GBS from around 1 in 300 to less than 1 in 6000.

GBS is a recognised cause of preterm delivery, maternal infections, stillbirths and late miscarriages. Preterm babies are known to be at particular risk of GBS infection as their immune systems are not as well developed as those of full-term babies.

Detecting a GBS carrier

Screening for GBS is not routinely offered in the NHS. Laboratory testing of GBS is routinely undertaken at the Laboratory we send the samples to.

Two swabs (lower vaginal and rectal) need to be cultured, ideally in the last five weeks of pregnancy, to best predict GBS carriage around the time of delivery. The swabs will be taken by yourself in privacy.

When the ECM test is properly performed within 5 weeks of giving birth, a negative result was shown to be 96% predictive of not carrying GBS at delivery (4% of women acquired carriage between the test and birth) and a positive result 87% predictive of carrying GBS at delivery (13% of women lost carriage in that time). The test can be done earlier, but isn’t as reliable at predicting carriage status over longer periods. It can be done later, but the chance of the baby arriving before the result increases.

The results of the test takes between 3-5 days to be returned. This will be sent to you via a text message to show if the test is positive or negative. In the result of a positive test, you will need to let you GP/Midwife know as soon as possible. It is also advised to present this information as soon as you go into labour, so the antibiotics can be arranged for you.

Overall, without preventative medicine, GBS infections affect an estimated 1 in every 1,000 babies born in the UK.


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