Group B streptococcus, known as group B strep, is one of many kinds of streptococcus bacteria that infect humans. Group B strep can live in a healthy person's body without causing illness. But it can be life-threatening.
People who are at risk for severe group B strep infection include newborns who catch it from their mothers during childbirth and people who have weakened immune systems (as from chronic illness or cancer treatment).
Group B strep is treated with antibiotics. Testing for group B strep is done during pregnancy. To prevent newborn infection, anyone with group B strep infection is treated in the last weeks of pregnancy or during labor.
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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