We are delighted to have the following world-renowned experts speaking at our virtual conference, taking place on 17 May 2023:
PhD Student, University of Bath
Emelie has a BSc in Microbiolgy from Glasgow Caledonian University, MMedSc in Infection Biology from Uppsala University and is currently a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath.
Talk Title: Phospholipid vesicles for detection of maternal GBS carriage intrapartum
Biosensor composed of lipids sensitive to GBS virulence factors has been tested on vaginal swabs from anonymous non-pregnant donors and show sensitivity and specificity for detecting vaginal carriage of GBS.
Dr Carol J Baker
Professor of Pediatrics, McGovern Medical School, Houston, Texas. 2019 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal recipient. Also known as “the Godmother of Group B Strep prevention.”
Carol is a professor of pediatrics at McGovern Medical School, Houston, Texas. Her work has focused on all aspects of perinatal group B streptococcal (GBS) infections with a focus on prevention through pregnancy screening and prophylaxis and maternal immunisation. Her discovery of the link between infant GBS disease and maternal immunity paved the way for routine GBS screening among pregnant women, reducing the rates of EOGBS disease in many countries by up to 80%. She continues to dedicate herself to preventing more GBS disease through maternal immunisation, with vaccine candidates currently in clinical trials.
Carol previously was professor of pediatrics and of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, until 2018. She was Head of the Section of infectious diseases in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine for 25 years. She is past chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (2009-2012). She is a past president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and was a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases from 1997-2012.
In 1997, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and in 2007 of the Distinguished Physician Award, each from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. She has been the recipient of several awards from the IDSA, the Mentor, the Society Citation for outstanding achievements in the field of Infectious Disease and in 2016 the Alexander Fleming Lifetime Achievement. In 2019. She received the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal in recognition of her phenomenal research into group B Strep and is a member of the National Academy of Science
A widely published researcher in pediatrics and infectious diseases, she has authored or co-authored more than 500 articles, reviews, and book chapters.
Talk Title: Remaining challenges for GBS prevention.
GBS3 Lead Research Midwife, University of Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit
Kerry was a clinical midwife for 12 years before taking up first research midwife role in 2011 and since then has worked on various trials in different trusts and gained a MSc in Clinical Research. She has been a member of the GBS3 team since May 2021 and is passionate about the positive effect research can have on clinical care.
Talk Title: The GBS3 trial: an update
Kerry will provide an update on the progress of the GBS3 trial. This is a cluster randomised trial comparing testing (either rapid intrapartum tests or enriched culture microbiological testing in late pregnancy) with the UK risk factor based approach. She will describe the uptake of testing and the next steps towards the final analysis.
Dr Alison Bedford Russell
Neonatal Clinical co-Director, Liverpool Neonatal Partnership. Member of the Group B Strep Support Medical Advisory Panel.
Alison has been a consultant neonatologist for 29 years and has had a strong interest in neonatal infection for all her paediatric working life. She is passionate about working together within healthcare teams and with parents to deliver the highest quality of care to babies.
Talk Title: Clinical recognition and treatment of GBS infection in babies.
All the audience will be familiar with the clinical presentation of GBS. These will be briefly covered in this overview. The points will be made that listening to parents and hearing if they express concern about their baby is crucial; and that no algorithm or set of guidelines will substitute for good clinical acumen.
Dr Alberto Berardi
Head of Neonatal Intensive Care, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Policlinico
Alberto is the head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital of Modena (Italy). He leads a research network for the surveillance of GBS in Italy.
Talk Title: Late-onset group B Strep infection.
Prof Jane Daniels
Professor of Clinical Trials, University of Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit
Jane is the Chief Investigator for the GBS3 trial, a massive UK randomised trial of testing for GBS, and also led two previous clinical studies of rapid tests for GBS. She is a Professor of Clinical Trials at the University of Nottingham and has an outstanding reputation in women’s health research.
Talk Title: The GBS3 trial: an update
Jane will provide an update on the progress of the GBS3 trial. This is a cluster randomised trial comparing testing (either rapid intrapartum tests or enriched culture microbiological testing in late pregnancy) with the UK risk factor based approach. She will describe the uptake of testing and the next steps towards the final analysis.
Sarah Doolin & Craig Pollard
Parents of Ezrah Pollard who died in March 2022 after develop late onset Group B Strep infection.
Talk Title: A family’s experience
Our son, Ezrah Pollard, died due to late onset Group B Strep infection, which became sepsis with meningitis. He was just 19 days old. We share his story and our frustration of learning about GBS and infections signs only after he became poorly.
Neonatologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Dr. Flannery is an attending neonatologist and clinical researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, United States.
Talk Title: Group B Streptococcus antibodies and placental antibody transfer ratios among persons presenting for childbirth 2019-2021
Multicenter prospective serosurveillance study of mothers and newborns to determine prevalence of naturally acquired serotype-specific GBS antibodies and dynamics of serotype-specific placental antibody transfer across gestation
Dr Jim Gray
Consultant Microbiologist, Birmingham Women’s & Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
Jim was appointed Consultant Microbiologist at Birmingham Children’s and Women’s Hospitals in 1995. His research interests include group B Strep (working on several major GBS trials in the UK, including GBS2 and GBS3), point of care testing and paediatric antibiotic stewardship.
He has worked on several programmes with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), including the recent Neonatal Infection Guideline.
He is an Expert Advisor for the British National Formulary for Children (BNF-C), Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Hospital Infection and has editorial responsibilities with a number of other academic journals.
Jim was honoured in 2021 by the Birmingham Women’s & Children’s NHS Foundation Trust with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work caring for children, young people, women, and their families. He has been at the forefront of the Trust’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Talk Title: Tests in pregnancy and labour for GBS – old and new technology
GBS screening can be performed by enrichment culture or the newer PCR method. In this presentation we will consider the pros and cons of both methods in the context of the National Screening Committee criteria for screening tests.
Consultant Midwife, Psychotherapist, Past President of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) & Trustee of Group B Strep Support
Kathryn is recognised for her work as one of the first consultant midwives in the UK. She was elected as President of the Royal College of Midwives 2017-21. Kathryn is widely published in both peer-review journals and books and has presented internationally.
She has a long history of clinical care and advocacy for women in the NHS and a passion for women’s issues and the importance of psychological, emotional, and mental well-being during childbirth.
She has worked in diverse settings including neonatal services and community midwifery and has been an expert advisor to both the RCM and the RCOG. In 2017 she was named ‘Midwife of the Year’ by the British Journal of Midwifery, and in 2021 was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the RCM.
Talk Title: The role of the midwife in talking to families about GBS
Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, St George’s University of London & St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust, London
Paul Heath is a Professor and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and St George’s, University of London, where he is the Director of the Vaccine Institute. His research interests are in the epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases, in clinical vaccine trials, particularly in at-risk groups and in perinatal infections. He coordinates a European neonatal infection surveillance network and the UK Paediatric Vaccine Group (UKPVG). He is a member of the JCVI, Chair of the Research Committee of the European Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, NIHR Speciality Lead for Children’s research for South London CRN and a member of the WHO GBS Working Group.
Talk Title: Update on group B Strep vaccine development
Administration of an effective GBS vaccine in pregnancy is likely to provide the optimal solution to the global burden of GBS in young infants. The current leading vaccine candidates are capsular polysaccharide (CPS)-protein conjugate vaccines and protein-based vaccines and both are now in pregnancy studies with Phase III and IV studies planned. Important issues remain, including their path to licensure, optimal timing of administration during pregnancy, number of doses required, co-administration with other vaccines and acceptability of this approach to healthcare workers and to the pregnant women they care for.
Principal Bioinformatician, Wellcome Sanger Institute
Dorota Jamrozy works at the Sanger Institute, and she is the project manager for the Juno study. Her background is in bacterial genomics and application of whole genome sequencing to study pathogen evolution.
Talk Title: Population genetics of Group B Streptococcus from maternal carriage in an ethnically diverse community in London
We need to better understand the GBS molecular epidemiology, in particular vaccine target prevalence, to determine vaccine coverage in different countries and regions. In this study we describe the population genetics of GBS isolates derived from maternal carriage in London, based on whole genome sequence analysis. We report the population structure, distribution of serotypes, alpha family protein genes and prevalence of AMR determinants. We also describe association between GBS population structure and maternal ethnicity.
Dr Theresa Lamagni
Senior Epidemiologist, Healthcare-Associated Infection & Antimicrobial Resistance, UK Health Security Agency
Theresa Lamagni is a Section Head in UKHSA and designated epidemiologist for the WHO Collaborating Centre for Streptococcal Diseases. As lead epidemiologist for streptococcal diseases, she oversees surveillance activities, outbreak and incident response and development of an evidence base to inform disease prevention programmes.
Talk Title: Group B Strep epidemiology in the UK
Medical Student, Imperial College London
Mohid is a Fourth Year Medical Student intercalating in Global Health at Imperial College London. He has a particular interest in infectious diseases, population health and driving evidence-based policy change. He is very passionate about this field and would be keen to pursue more research opportunities in the future.
Talk Title: Should the NHS Offer Universal Group B Streptococcus Screening to Pregnant Women?
GBS screening is not regularly provided in the UK. This systematic review seeks to establish the cost-effectiveness and practicality of providing universal GBS screening to all pregnant women and determine whether it should be provided by the NHS.
Dr Edward Morris
Regional Medical Director, East of England, NHS England. Chair of Trustees, Group B Strep Support
Eddie is the Regional Medical Director, East of England, NHS England. He is the Immediate Past President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and before that was Vice President for Clinical Quality (2016-2019) and Fellows’ representative for the East of England on the RCOG’s Council (2011-2016). He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Medical School, University of East Anglia.
His main clinical interests include menopause, minimally invasive gynaecological surgery, and the advanced management of endometriosis. Former Chair of the British Menopause Society, he leads specialist menopause and tertiary endometriosis services in Norwich. Eddie is the co-editor of the Journal ‘Post Reproductive Health’ and has authored over 70 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and national documents.
Ms Jane Plumb
Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Group B Strep Support
Jane Plumb co-founded Group B Strep Support with her husband Robert in 1996 after their middle child died from group B Strep infection, and is its Chief Executive.
Jane is also the RCOG’s Women’s Voices Lead, and a member of the WHO’s Extended Technical Taskforce on Defeating Meningitis By 2030, chairs the Council for the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations and is a Meningitis Research Foundation trustee.
Jane was a member of the Department of Health’s priority-setting workshops for GBS research in 2015/6, and has sat on several NICE guideline committees. Jane is involved in many group B Strep research projects, co-leading PPI for the GBS3 trial. Jane was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to child health, Fellowship of the RSA in 2020, and Fellowship Honoris Causa by the RCOG in 2021.
Talk Title: Current approaches to preventing group B Strep infection in babies
Dr Proma Paul
Assistant Professor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Proma is Assistant Professor at LSHTM. She works on various maternal and child health projects, with a focus on outcomes related to perinatal infections.
Talk Title: Long term impact of GBS infection on babies and their familiesategies
Invasive Group B Streptococcus (iGBS) is associated with disability that may affect a child’s ability to thrive later in life, leading to substantial demands on parental caregiving and chronic stress. This presentation will explore the the long-term consequences of iGBS disease in early infancy, as well as the subsequent maternal mortality and psychiatric risk among mothers of children with iGBS.
Prof Philip Steer
Emeritus Professor of obstetrics at Imperial College London, and Editor Emeritus of BJOG. An Editor of ‘High Risk Pregnancy – Management Options’ (Cambridge University Press) with the 6th edition now in preparation. Previously President of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine and President of the Section of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Royal Society of Medicine. Chair of the Group B Strep Support Medical Advisory Panel.
He was a member of the RCOG Group B Streptococcal Prevention Guidelines Committee that produced the RCOG’s 2017 group B Strep guidelines.
Talk Title: Group B Strep and preterm labour, stillbirth, and miscarriage
Globally, about 15 million babies are born preterm annually, a major cause of perinatal mortality and long-term disability. However, antenatal antibiotic prophylaxis in women carrying Streptococcus agalactiae (group B strep, GBS) appears not to reduce rates of preterm labour. Antibiotic prophylaxis can prevent intrapartum stillbirths linked with GBS infection, however, GBS as a cause of prelabour stillbirth is extremely rare and currently not preventable. Vaccines hold promise.
Dr Caroline Trotter
Professor of Global Health, University of Cambridge
Caroline Trotter is Professor of Global Health at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium at Imperial College London. She is a member of the WHO Technical Taskforce for Defeating Meningitis by 2030, member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and chair of the Meningitis Research Foundation Scientific Advisory Panel.
Talk Title: Update on WHO Meningitis Roadmap and GBS
The World Health Organisation, with global partners and experts involved in meningitis prevention and control, led the development of a global road map that sets forth a vision and roadmap to defeat meningitis by 2030. This talk will give an update about how the roadmap is progressing, with a particular emphasis on GBS.
Customer Insight Manger.
Preya is a Customer Insight Manger, wife to husband Birju, and mother of two healthy daughters Amba (four), Uma (two).
Talk Title: A family’s experience
I will be talking about my personal experience and the devastating effects of GBS infection on my daughter Uma.
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