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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 infection causes an estimated 150,000 stillbirths & infant deaths a year globally

Worldwide, an estimated one in five pregnant women carries the group B Strep (GBS) bacteria which is a major, yet preventable, cause of maternal and infant ill health globally. These are the findings of a new research supplement published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, and launched at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and involving more than 100 researchers from around the world, the series of 11 research papers conservatively estimates that out of 410,000 GBS cases every year, there will be at least 147,000 stillbirths and infant deaths globally. This first comprehensive study of the burden of GBS, funded by a grant from [...]

New Medical Advisory Panel Member joins Group B Strep Support

  We are delighted to welcome Dr Sonali Kochhar, MD, to Group B Strep Support's Medical Advisory Panel. Dr Kochhar has worked for 20 years in a leadership position for Global Phase I-IV Clinical Research Epidemiology and Safety Studies for Vaccines and Drugs including vaccines for pregnant women, infectious diseases and maternal and child programs which are conducted in USA, Europe, Asia, Africa and India in adult and paediatric populations. She led the development of Maternal and Neonatal Case Definitions and co-authored guidelines for collection, analysis and presentation of safety data for vaccines in pregnant women clinical trials and observational studies. This work will help to support enhanced surveillance and collection of safety data across sites, countries, and programs [...]

The RCOG’s September 2017 updated #groupBStrep guideline

NEW - GBSS SUMMARY OF THE RCOG'S CLINICAL GUIDELINE ON GBS From today you can download your FREE copy of the GBSS Summary for Health Professionals of the RCOG's Clinical Guideline on GBS. This lists the key recommendations, grouped into topic areas, and includes two handy flowcharts in the centre pages - one following a woman's journey from pregnancy through to birth, and the other following a baby after birth. Download the summary here (pdf file, 444kb). Download the flowcharts here (pdf file, 133kb). 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 [...]

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 [...]