High prevalence of Group B Streptococcus colonization among pregnant women in Amman, Jordan

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Abstract

Background: Little is known of the burden of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) colonization among pregnant women in Jordan. We conducted a pilot study to determine the prevalence of GBS among pregnant women in Amman, Jordan, where GBS testing is not routine. We also explored GBS serotypes and the performance of a rapid GBS antigen diagnostic test. Methods: We collected vaginal-rectal swabs from women who presented for labor and delivery at Al-Bashir Hospital. Three methods were used to identify GBS: Strep B Rapid Test (Creative Diagnostics), blood agar media (Remel) with confirmed with BBL Streptocard acid latex test (Becton Dickinson), and CHROMagar StrepB (Remel). Results were read by a senior microbiologist. We defined our gold standard for GBS-positive as a positive blood agar culture confirmed by latex agglutination and positive CHROMagar. PCR testing determined serotype information. Demographic and clinical data were also collected. Results: In April and May 2015, 200 women were enrolled with a median age of 27 years (IQR: 23-32); 89.0% were Jordanian nationals and 71.9% completed secondary school. Median gestational age was 38 weeks (IQR: 37-40); most women reported prenatal care (median 9 visits; IQR: 8-12). Median parity was 2 births (IQR: 1-3). Pre-pregnancy median BMI was 24.1 (IQR: 21.5-28.0) and 14.5% reported an underlying medical condition. Obstetric complications included gestational hypertension (9.5%), gestational diabetes (6.0%), and UTI (53.5%), of which 84.5% reported treatment. Overall, 39 (19.5%) of women were GBS-positive on blood agar media and CHROMagar, while 67 (33.5%) were positive by rapid test (36% sensitivity, 67% specificity). Serotype information was available for 25 (64%) isolates: III (48%), Ia (24%), II (20%), and V (8%). No demographic or clinical differences were noted between GBS+ and GBS-negative women. Conclusions: Nearly one in five women presenting for labor in Jordan was colonized with GBS, with serotype group III as the most common. The rapid GBS antigen diagnostic had low sensitivity and specificity. These results support expanded research in the region, including defining GBS resistance patterns, serotyping information, and risk factors. It also emphasizes the need for routine GBS testing and improved rapid GBS diagnostics for developing world settings.

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Clouse, K., Shehabi, A., Suleimat, A. M., Faouri, S., Khuri-Bulos, N., Al Jammal, A., … Halasa, N. (2019). High prevalence of Group B Streptococcus colonization among pregnant women in Amman, Jordan. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-019-2317-4

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