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July 24, 2019
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Comparison of Group B Streptococcus Molecular Assays for Routine Screening in Pregnant Women


Director of the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory; Associate Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, University of California, San Diego

Director of Molecular Diagnostics & Assistant Director of Infectious Disease Diagnostics, Northwell Health Laboratories; Director of Microbiology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

This webinar shares the results of comparisons of commercially available nucleic acid amplification tests for use in routine screening of pregnant women for Group B Streptococcus (GBS).

GBS colonization occurs in about 18 percent of pregnant women worldwide and about 25 percent of pregnant women in the United States. Spread of GBS to newborn children occurs at an estimated rate of 40 percent to 73 percent, with about 1 percent to 2 percent of colonized newborns developing early-onset disease (EOD), which can include symptoms of septicemia, meningitis, or pneumonia, and may result in long-term disabilities such as retardation, hearing or vision loss, and potentially death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal screening with enriched culture-based methods at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy to identify women colonized with GBS. Nevertheless, EOD due to GBS still occurs, and 81 percent of neonates who develop EOD are born from mothers with a negative GBS screening test, suggesting a high rate of false negatives for culture-based screening tests. Therefore, screening methods are shifting to rapid and highly sensitive nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs).

In this webinar, directors of two leading microbiology labs share studies that compared four commercial molecular GBS assays to the standard-of-care culture method.

Our speakers discuss how these assays compared to the standard of care as well as to each other.

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