What is Group B Strep (GBS)?

Group B Streptococcus agalactiae is a type of bacteria that is naturally found in the digestive and lower reproductive tracts of both men and women.  About 1 in 4 pregnant women “carry” or are “colonized” with GBS. Unfortunately, babies can be infected by GBS before birth and up to about 6 months of age due to their underdeveloped immune systems.

The severity of GBS

Group B strep bacteria are the leading cause of infection of the fluid and lining around the brain and the body’s life-threatening response to infection in a newborn’s first week of life in the United States. Furthermore, group B strep bacteria may come and go in people’s bodies without recognizable symptoms.

Who should be tested?

All pregnant women should be tested for group B strep bacteria when they are 35 to 37 weeks pregnant. A pregnant woman who tests positive for group B strep bacteria and receives appropriate antibiotics during labor reduces the chance of infecting her baby to just 1 in 4,000 whereas a woman who does not receive the treatment maintains 1 in 200 chance of passing the infection on to her baby. It should be noted that antibiotic therapy to prevent early-onset group B strep disease in newborns is effective only when administered during labor.

How is the test done?

Excelsior Diagnostics will supply you with a test kit that contains a vaginal/ rectal swab, a transport tube, gloves and a prepaid overnight UPS envelope. Excelsior will process the specimen using Polymerace Chain Reaction (PCR) molecular technology the very morning it is received and provide same day results.

How is that better than the standard legacy method?

Legacy strep testing is still done by most medical testing labs using culture media that can take from 3 to 5 days to result. During this period, providers are in the dark regarding the best way to treat the patient’s painful symptoms. Often, even hospitalization decisions may have to be delayed for an extended period during which time the patient may be at increased risk.

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The Excelsior Guarantee

Excelsior Diagnostics is a specialty medical diagnostic lab that performs all testing exclusively by Polymerase Chain Reaction Molecular Analysis, the most accurate diagnostic medical testing available today.