Maternal Disease with Group B Streptococcus and Serotype Distribution Worldwide: Systematic Review and Meta-analyses

Jennifer Hall, Nadine Hack Adams, Linda Bartlett, Anna C. Seale, Theresa Lamagni, Fiorella Bianchi-Jassir, Joy E. Lawn, Carol J. Baker, Clare Cutland, Paul T. Heath, Margaret Ip, Kirsty Le Doare, Shabir A. Madhi, Craig E. Rubens, Samir K. Saha, Stephanie Schrag, Ajoke Sobanjo-Ter Meulen, Johan Vekemans, Michael G. Gravett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background. Infections such as group B Streptococcus (GBS) are an important cause of maternal sepsis, yet limited data on epidemiology exist. This article, the third of 11, estimates the incidence of maternal GBS disease worldwide. Methods. We conducted systematic literature reviews (PubMed/Medline, Embase, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature [LILACS], World Health Organization Library Information System [WHOLIS], and Scopus) and sought unpublished data on invasive GBS disease in women pregnant or within 42 days postpartum. We undertook meta-analyses to derive pooled estimates of the incidence of maternal GBS disease. We examined maternal and perinatal outcomes and GBS serotypes. Results. Fifteen studies and 1 unpublished dataset were identified, all from United Nations-defined developed regions. From a single study with pregnancies as the denominator, the incidence of maternal GBS disease was 0.38 (95% confidence interval [CI],.28-.48) per 1000 pregnancies. From 3 studies reporting cases by the number of maternities (pregnancies resulting in live/still birth), the incidence was 0.23 (95% CI,.09-.37). Five studies reported serotypes, with Ia being the most common (31%). Most maternal GBS disease was detected at or after delivery. Conclusions. Incidence data on maternal GBS disease in developing regions are lacking. In developed regions the incidence is low, as are the sequelae for the mother, but the risk to the fetus and newborn is substantial. The timing of GBS disease suggests that a maternal vaccine given in the late second or early third trimester of pregnancy would prevent most maternal cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S112-S124
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - 2017


  • group B Streptococcus
  • incidence
  • postpartum
  • pregnancy
  • serotype.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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