Streptococcus agalactiae or Group B Streptococcus (GBS) has long been a leading cause of neonatal infection. In the United States in the 1970s, GBS emerged as the primary cause of infection of infants in the first week of life, defined as early-onset disease (EOD); with case fatality rates as high as 50%. The recommendation to screen all pregnant women for GBS colonization between 35 and 37 weeks gestation was first released in 1996 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and was quickly followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The CDC has published recommendations for GBS screening in collaboration with several professional societies since 1996. In 2019, the stewardship of these guidelines was transferred to 3 professional organizations. ACOG and AAP are now responsible for curation of the guidelines for prophylaxis and treatment of GBS infection in pregnant women and newborns, respectively, and ASM is responsible for maintaining and updating guidelines for standard laboratory practices related to detection and identification of GBS.
ASM's Clinical and Public Health Microbiology Committee, email@example.com