False Negatives can Pose a Problem in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Group B Strep, the Leading Cause of Life-Threatening Infections in Newborns

Group B strep is the leading cause of life-threatening infections in newborns, yet many Americans have never heard of it. Meridian Bioscience's special online section, "Understanding Group B Strep," raises awareness about GBS, with an emphasis on mothers who falsely test negative for the bacteria.

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Parents who have lost their babies to GBS-related complications also shared their stories in an effort to raise awareness, including two mothers who tested negative for the infection during pregnancy.

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 20, 2012

One in four pregnant women carries Group B Streptococcus (Group B Strep or GBS) in their digestive tract and birth canal. While not all newborns exposed to GBS become infected, some suffer from potentially deadly complications at the hands of the bacteria. Fortunately, there are steps parents can take to help protect their babies, according to “Understanding Group B Strep,” a special online section produced by Conversionplanet, a digital content publishing company.

Understanding Group B Strep was created by Conversionplanet in partnership with Meridian Bioscience, Inc., Group B Strep International and leading doctors in the field, including Dr. Carol J. Baker, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. The section will be promoted on USAToday.com until Sunday, September 23.    

Parents who have lost their babies to GBS-related complications also shared their stories in an effort to raise awareness, including two mothers who tested negative for the infection during pregnancy.
RaeAnne Latimore’s son Blake was born seriously ill. "They ruled out GBS because of my negative test, but a nurse practitioner who had been on the team that tried to save him thought the symptoms looked like GBS and asked the pathologist to check for it in the autopsy," she explains. Stephanie Worthy, who also lost her son to GBS despite testing negative, warns that "testing negative doesn't always mean you are negative.”

Their story struck a chord with social media communities, and almost 1000 people have shared the article on Facebook.

For the most part GBS disease is highly preventable, and there are steps parents can take to help ensure a healthy birth—starting with communicating with their health care providers.
"I know doctors get tired of patients coming in with information they've read on the Internet," admits Crystal Mikos, whose baby, Anthony, beat the odds and overcame a serious GBS infection. Mikos also tested negative for GBS during her pregnancy, and recommends being an outspoken partner with your health care providers.

In addition to adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation to protect against early-onset GBS, Moms should take caution regarding invasive procedures and discuss the benefits vs. risks of possible methods of induction with their providers early in pregnancy.