Group B Streptococcus is a normally occurring bacterium.

Between 20-30% of women carry GBS in their intestines without symptoms and roughly a quarter of women of childbearing age carry GBS in the vagina at any one time. GBS is a normal body commensal (an organism that lives on another without harming it).

Our medical panel’s key recommendations for better prevention of group B Strep infection in newborn babies. With a disease as serious as GBS, prevention is much better than treatment. The best preventative treatment (or prophylactic treatment) for GBS developing in newborn babies is giving intravenous antibiotics (to the mother) during labour.
We want to see the National guidelines for preventing group B Strep infections in newborn babies updated, to reverse the rising incidence of what is a largely preventable disease. We are constantly campaigning to medical governing bodies for changes to be implemented.

GBSS – Group B Strep Support

We’re an independent UK charity, formed to help prevent preventable group B Strep infections in newborn babies.

Group B Streptococcus (group B Strep or GBS) is a bacterium found in around 20-30% of people – normal flora of the gut and genital tract. Usually harmless, it can be passed from mother to her baby around birth. The large majority of babies do not develop group B Strep infection, but for the babies who do, it can be life-threatening.

Group B Strep is the UK’s most common cause of severe bacterial infection in newborn babies (usually septicaemia or pneumonia), and of meningitis in babies under 3 months – yet most GBS infection in newborn babies is easily preventable. Finding out whether a Mum is carrying group B Strep late in pregnancy is safe and easy, as is good preventative medicine (simple antibiotics in labour). We need to be doing more in the UK.

GBSS can’t give advice, but we are here to listen and offer information. Please email ( or call us on 01444 416 176.

Dr Chris Steele MBE talking about group B Strep

GBSS Patron Dr Chris Steele MBE says “Every pregnant women should know about group B Strep. Being informed could save her baby’s life.”

Dr Chris is a family GP and resident doctor on ITV’s This Morning. He is renowned for his practical and open approach to airing medical issues in the media.