BMC Infect Dis 2019 Feb 20;19(1):179. Epub 2019 Feb 20.
SAMRC Microbial Water Quality Monitoring Centre, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice, Eastern Cape Province, 5700, South Africa.
Background: Streptococcus agalactiae or Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality resulting in septicaemia, bacteraemia and meningitis. Long term problems in children range from loss of hearing to mental retardation. While Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis (IAP) has reduced the incidence of S. agalactiae infection, it still remains the leading cause of disease in neonates. GBS has ten capsular types whose distribution varies across the world. Therefore, this study sought to determine the prevalence of GBS in Namibia and South Africa amongst pregnant women between 35 and 37 weeks gestation and elucidate the capsular types.
Methods: Lower vaginal and rectal swabs were collected from pregnant women between 35 and 37 weeks gestation. Five hundred and thirty pregnant women were recruited into the study in Windhoek, Namibia while one hundred pregnant women were recruited in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The swabs were cultured on 5% sheep blood agar (Biomerieux, New Jersey, USA) for isolation of GBS. Presumptive isolates were confirmed using both the Vitek (2) and molecular techniques targeting the scpB gene. Capsular typing was performed in a multiplex PCR with capsular specific primer pairs.
Results: The prevalence of GBS in Namibia was 13.6 and 37% in South Africa respectively. In both countries most women were dually colonised with GBS. Capsular types II, III and V were the most prevalent.
Conclusions: The prevalence of GBS in Namibia was lower than in South Africa in this study. The prevalence in both countries was not different from those reported in other African countries and around the world. The predominant capsular types in this study are the ones commonly associated with adverse maternal outcomes.