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Read the latest news and views about group B Strep, the activities of the charity Group B Strep Support and its supporters.

Group B Strep Support’s statement on The RCOG’s updated guidelines

Group B Strep Support welcomes the updated clinical guidance from The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists on preventing group B Strep infection in newborn babies. When the recommendations are fully implemented across the UK, we believe will start to see the rate of avoidable group B Strep infection in newborn babies start to fall. The key recommendations are that: All pregnant women are provided with an information leaflet on group B Strep (new) Women who carried GBS in a previous pregnancy should be offered the option of GBS-specific (ECM) testing for GBS late in the current pregnancy (new) Women are offered intravenous antibiotics in labour where: Mum is in established preterm labour (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) [...]

Group B Strep Support statement on vaginal seeding

As 'vaginal seeding' has been featured prominently in the news this week, often mentioning group B Strep, we thought it would be helpful to make our position on vaginal seeding clear. Our Medical Advisory Panel's view is this: "The practice of ‘vaginal seeding’ babies born by Caesarean (putting a gauze swab in the vagina for 24 hours beforehand and then wiping the baby’s mouth and skin with that gauze after birth) is increasingly attracting attention. The hope is that exposure to bacteria will boost the baby’s immune system, thereby preventing illness and disease in the future, such as asthma and allergies. Group B Strep Support does not recommend this practice because there is no properly conducted clinical trial that [...]

Group B Strep Support and Royal College team up to provide patient information leaflet on group B Strep

We are delighted to announce we're working with the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) to produce a clear and concise patient information leaflet on group B Strep to be given to all pregnant women. The leaflet is based on the RCOG's Green-top Guideline on group B Strep (due to be published in September 2017). This is a huge step forward in the campaign to prevent GBS infection in new babies, as for the first time, all pregnant women will be given information about group B Strep as a routine part of antenatal care. A key part of the process of developing the information leaflet is the peer review process - comments are welcomed on the draft Group B Streptococcus [...]

Work towards a vaccine against group B Strep infection

Researchers at Imperial College London are working on an exciting new project to accelerate group B Strep vaccine development. Led by Dr Kirsty Le Doare, Senior Clinical Lecturer, and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the project is developing laboratory tests to establish what level of antibodies a baby needs to get from Mum to achieve protection against GBS infection. Dr Le Doare is working closely with both the World Health Organisation and the three pharmaceutical companies currently developing a group B Strep vaccine – GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Minervax, who will then be able to use this test to establish their vaccine’s effectiveness. The aim of a group B Strep vaccine is to enable [...]

International Symposium on ‘Streptococcus agalactiae’ Disease

We are delighted to announce there will be an International Symposium on 'Streptococcus agalactiae' Disease (ISSAD) in Cape Town, South Africa from 20-23 February 2018, held with the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Our Chief Executive, Jane Plumb MBE, is a member of the International Scientific Committee, and has been asked to coordinate the session on advocacy for group B Strep prevention strategies, including group B Strep vaccines. This inaugural symposium will bring together experts and key stakeholders in various fields of GBS for enhanced collaboration, advance the thinking, and exchange ideas aimed at progressing towards a GBS-disease-free population. All researchers, clinicians, healthcare and public health practitioners are welcome to join in sharing ideas, [...]

Group B Strep Awareness Month is over for another year ….

but there's still much to be done. Here are some Quick facts about group B Strep: Group B Strep is a common bacterium, carried normally by around 25% of men and women, usually without causing them any harm or symptoms. Group B Strep can more rarely cause infection, most commonly in newborn babies. It’s the number one cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, causing meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia. In the UK, the number and rate of group B Strep infections in babies is rising. Yet most of these infections in newborn babies can be prevented when women and their health team know Mum carries the bacteria during pregnancy. Since 1996, charity Group B Strep Support has led [...]

Survey into long-term impacts of group B Strep infection in newborn babies

Group B Strep Support is the only UK charity dedicated to eradicating group B Strep (GBS) infections, including meningitis, in babies. We provide up-to-date, evidence-based information on GBS to families and health professionals, and support affected families. We are seeking better to understand the long-term consequences of early-onset group B Strep infection (occurring at age 0-6 days), both for the infected baby and the family, and are inviting parents of babies who developed early-onset GBS infection to take part in a survey. We will use the findings to inform our work to influence UK policy and practice, to prevent early-onset GBS infection. If you have had a baby who developed early-onset group B Strep infection, we invite you [...]

We’re recruiting!

Administration Assistant - Haywards Heath School hours to full time, £8-£9 per hour according to age & experience.  Do you enjoy administration and social media? We’re looking for someone with excellent admin skills, a great telephone manner and the ability to work both as part of a team and independently in our small, busy office. You’ll be the first in line for enquiries coming in to the office by phone and online – you’ll answer the straightforward questions, referring the more complex or specific to others (training will of course be given). You’ll answer the phone, send out information and respond to our busy social media channels (primarily facebook and twitter). You’ll undertake a wide range of administrative [...]

July is Group B Strep Awareness Month

Group B Strep is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies in the UK, and the most common cause of meningitis in babies under age 3 months[1]. And the number of these infections are rising. Currently: 2 babies a day develop group B Strep infection 1 baby a week dies from group B Strep infection 1 baby a week recovers from group B Strep infection with disability Shockingly, between 2000[2]  and 2014[3] there has been an increase of more than 50% in babies developing group B Strep infection in the UK and Republic of Ireland. And, while fewer babies have died from their group B Strep infection, more survivors have disability at discharge[i]. July is [...]

Pfizer trials a group B Strep vaccine

Group B Strep Support is encouraged by the news that clinical trials of a group B Strep vaccine have begun. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has started a Phase 1 trial of its vaccine, which could prevent many more group B Strep infections than current prevention strategies - not only the early-onset group B Strep infections (in babies aged 0-6 days), but also late-onset group B Strep infection (in babies 7-90 days) and potentially stillbirths and maternal infections caused by group B Strep. While a safe and effective vaccine is likely many years away, this is an important step towards eradicating group B Strep infection in babies. “We are delighted that Pfizer is developing a group B Strep vaccine. Group [...]