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Effects of Group B Streptococcus on the Newborn, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 662

Research Paper

Introduction

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) this is a type of bacteria that is located in the lower intestine and / or vagina in healthy adult women.  GBS is not a contagious infection but can under some circumstances spread to the other parts of the body and cause illness.  It has been estimated that between 15-18,000 babies in the US will contact serious GBS as a result of contact with the mother during childbirth.  “Most cases of neonatal group B streptococcal disease with early onset have an intrapartum pathogenesis. Attack rates are increased substantially in infants born to mothers with prenatal group B” (Boyer, K.M. 1986).

Safety Issues

Young infants have specific vulnerability and potential morbidity to those bacterial and viral pathogens that are transmitted during birth.  Precautions can be taken by the transmission of maternal antibodies that will provide protection in the early months of life. Historically active immunization has not met with great success owing to immaturity of the immune response time. It takes time for the anti-bodies to develop effective immunity. (Munoz, F.M. 2001).

Latest Developments – Continued progress is being made with new vaccines and the development of these in order to ensure greater safety and success rates making the concept of vaccinations a more acceptable option to prevent life threatening diseases impacting this vulnerable population.  One effective proven drug is that of Penicillin “The penicillin family is one of the most valuable groups of antibiotics in primary care” (Miller, E.L. 2010).  Development in the uses of penicillin has widened the uses of the antibiotic . Equally those with an allergic history to penicillin are not necessarily prohibited from using this in order to combat this specific infection.

Safety and Prevention

Considerable research has been carried out in the area of pre-natal screening and the introduction of cost effective strategies that might result in better detection and remedial procedures for GBS and similar serious bacterial infections.  Specific research was conducted in the United Kingdom  by collsboration between different University Medical faculties.  This resulted in the creation of electronic databases that could share research results. The research carruied out in 2006 resulted in the identification of 14 potential intervention strategies that included the use of intravenous treatment for pyrexia and use of GBS swabs. Testing high risk women was not deemed to be a cost effective approach  as all negative results people would require treatment to reduce the risk of early onset of the infection.  Conclusions indicated that current practices required to be extended for the treatment of high risk groups and that the concept of finding a true GBS vaccine should be given a high priority. (Ades, AE, 2007).

Conclusions

Research indicates that considerable progress is being made towards finding a suitable vaccine to deal with GBS.  In the interim there is specific success being made with penicillin vaccines. Infection rates in the US indicates that this remains a considerable problem in America.  The World Health Authority (WHO) have underscored the importance of the problem in the more global context and they stated GBS is “one of the most important infectious causes of neonatal morbidity and mortality, causing meningitis, pneumonia and septicemia in the newborns and their mothers.” (World Health Authority, 2012).  The WHO stated that the research was not without complications stating “A major difficulty in developing Group B streptococcal vaccines is the existence of a multiplicity of serotypes with different geographical distributions” (World Health Authority, 2012)

Works Cited

AE, C. T. (2007). Prenatal screening & treatment strategies to prevent Group B streptococcal. Health Technology Assessment Vol 11 (29), 1-240.

Flor M. Munoz, M. (2001). Vaccines in Pregnancy . Infectious Disease Clinics of North America Vol 15 (1), 253–271.

Kenneth M. Boyer, M. a. (1986). Prevention of Early-Onset Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Disease with Selective Intrapartum Chemoprophylaxis. N Engl J Med 1986; 314, 1665-1669.

Miller, E. L. (2010). The Penicillins: A Review and Update. Journal of Midwifery and Womens Health Vol 47 (6), 426-434.

World Health Authority. (2012, 9 26). Initiative for Vaccine Research (IVR) . Retrieved from World Health Authority: http://www.who.int/vaccine_research/diseases/soa_bacterial/en/index4.html

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