The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued their BSOP (Bacteriology Standard Operating Procedure) No 58 – Screening swabs for Group B Streptococcal Carriage – seewww.hpa-standardmethods.org.uk. In order to obtain optimum detection of GBS carriage, this BSOP recommends taking swabs from both the lower vagina AND rectum from pregnant women and recommends they should be processed using enriched culture media. It also states that the results should be reported urgently.
As a BSOP issued by the Health Protection Agency, it’s the minimum standard recommended by the HPA for swab testing for group B streptococcal carriage. Indeed, All NHS laboratories accredited by Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) must have in place standard operating procedures that are based on, or give equivalent results to, these BSOP Standards.