Study shows antibiotic prophylaxis a vital weapon in preventing streptococcus b infection in newborns

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 18:30 in Health & Medicine

A study investigating epidemiology of Streptococcus B infection worldwide has shown that the highest levels of infection are found in Africa, followed by the Americas and Europe. The study shows the use of prophylactic antibiotics in mothers at risk of Streptococcus B substantially reduces infection rates in newborns, and that such intervention, widely applied in high-income countries, should also be used in the developing world, at least until vaccines become available. Encouragingly, and unlike some other pathogens, the distribution of strains of Streptococcus B appears similar worldwide, and therefore vaccines in development could have near-universal applicability once licensed. The study is by Dr Karen Edmond, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and colleagues.

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