group B streptococcus

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(GBS) a Gram-positive bacterium that causes life-threatening infections in newborn infants following vaginal delivery (see Streptococcus, Lancefield classification). 20% of pregnant women are carriers and have no symptoms; however, vertical transmission of the bacterium from mother to fetus at the time of delivery may lead to neonatal sepsis, characterized by pneumonia, meningitis, and death in some cases. Antibiotic prophylaxis with penicillin is recommended for women with risk factors or who are known to be carriers.

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