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Some people carry group B streptococcus bacteria in their body but
don't get sick. Without knowing it, a woman who has group B streptococci in her
birth canal or in her colon can pass the bacteria to her baby when she is giving birth. This can cause meningitis in the baby.
Meningitis caused by these bacteria also occurs in
adults older than 60, especially those with long-term conditions such as
diabetes, cancer, alcohol dependence, and liver or kidney failure. Group B
streptococci cause meningitis in about 15% of the people who get bacterial
meningitis in the United States every year.footnote 1
New guidelines for prevention of group B streptococci have made the disease less common. The guidelines include:footnote 2
Roos KL, Tyler KL (2012). Meningitis, encephalitis,
brain abscess, and empyema. In DL Longo et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed., vol. 2,
pp. 3410–3434. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Verani JR, et al. (2010). Prevention of perinatal group
B streptococcal disease: Revised guidelines from CDC, 2010. MMWR, 59(RR-10): 1–36. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5910a1.htm?s_cid=rr5910a1_w.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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