Group B Strep or GBS is passed vertically from mother to newborn if not treated or prevented. Not enough attention is paid to newborn sepsis, the specific bacteria is not often identifiable-- yet studies have shown that Group B streptococcus is a major cause of neonatal sepsis and must be tackled in the late antenatal period.
The incidence of GBS is highest in Africa and the Americas, where the practice of routine testing is sporadic. A gold standard test for GBS is a bacterial culture, but this procedure takes 24 to 48 hours and is not practical in many cases where women present already in labor.
Research into Strep B is important because of its role in newborn morbidity and mortality.
Maternova offers a newer culture method to detect the presence of Group B Strep in the antenatal period. Vaginal or recto-vaginal swabs are used to obtain a maternal sample, then grown in a culture. A latex agglutination method is used to then test the sample.