BPSU - Group B streptococcal disease in UK & Irish infants less than 90 days of age

Surveillance of Group B streptococcal disease in UK and Irish infants less than 90 days of age began in April 2014 and will continue for 13 months. Knowledge of the current epidemiology in this age group is needed to assess the impact of current guidelines and provide baseline information for a GBS vaccine programme.

This study is a collaboration between the BPSU, Public Health England, and St George's, University of London.

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DrPaul Heath

Lead Investigator

Prof Paul Heath
Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group
St George's University of London
Cranmer Terrace
London SW17 0RE

Project Coordinator

Dr Catherine O'Sullivan
Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group
St George's
University of London
Cranmer Terrace
London SW17 0RE

Overview

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the most common cause of serious bacterial infections (e.g. septicaemia, pneumonia) in the first week of life and of meningitis in the first three months of life. Approximately 10% of babies with GBS disease will die and neurodisability occurs in up to 50% of survivors of GBS meningitis. Our previous BPSU study (2000-2001) remains the only national UK and Ireland enhanced surveillance study.  

Early onset GBS disease may be prevented by antibiotics given intravenously to the mother during labour; national guidelines introduced in 2003 and updated in 2012 currently recommend this for women with certain risk factors. Late onset disease however is not currently preventable. A vaccine against GBS has been developed and is currently being tested in pregnant women.  We therefore need to collect the best available evidence in order to assess the impact of current prevention guidelines as well as providing the baseline for a GBS vaccine program.

The study is being led by St George's, University of London and Public Health England. The information will be collected and collated on a PHE web based surveillance system.

Case Definition: Any case of invasive group B streptococcus (GBS grown from a sterile site) in an infant of less than 90 days of age.

Duration: April 2014 - April 2015 (13 months of surveillance)

Funding: The study is funded by a grant from Meningitis Now.

Ethical Approval: This study has been approved by NRES Committee - South East Coast - Brighton and Sussex REC (REC reference: 13/LO/1912; IRAS Project ID: 137959). Public Health England has approval under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 to process confidential patient information for public health purposes. See The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002

Further information

Support Group

Group B Strep Support

Partners

Logos of Public Health England, BPSU and St George's University of London