Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of septicemia, meningitis, and pneumonia in neonates. Maternal colonization with GBS is the principal risk factor for early-onset disease in infants. Group B Streptococcus is now an important cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in many parts of the world. In Ethiopia, few studies have been done on GBS colonization among pregnant women. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of GBS colonization, antimicrobial susceptibility patterns and assess risk factors among pregnant women.
A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted from May to August 2014 at selected public antenatal care (ANC) centers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Clinical and socio-demographical data were collected using structured questionnaire after obtaining written informed consent. A total of 281 lower vaginal swabs were collected and inoculated into 1 ml Todd Hewitt Broth supplemented with gentamicin and nalidixic acid to prevent the growth of contaminants. After overnight incubation, all broths were subcultured on 5% sheep blood agar for isolation of GBS. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed according to the criteria of the Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI) guidelines 2013 by disk diffusion method. Data were entered and analysed using SPSS version 20.0 software. Chi-square test and binary logistic regression analysis were used. P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The overall prevalence of GBS colonization among pregnant women was 14.6% (41/281). Group B Streptococcus colonization was significantly associated with health institutions (P < 0.05). All GBS isolates were susceptible to chloramphenicol. Resistance to tetracycline, cefotaxime, clindamycin, penicillin, vancomycin, ampicillin and erythromycin was 90.2%, 34.1, 26.8%, 19.5, 17%, 14.6 and 7.5% respectively. Multidrug resistance (MDR) (≥ 2 drugs) was detected in 43.9% (18/41) of the isolates.
There was a high frequency of GBS colonization (14.6%) and resistance to the commonly used antibiotics which suggests the importance of the screening of GBS colonization in pregnant women at 35–37 weeks of gestation and testing their antimicrobial susceptibilities in order to provide antibiotic prophylaxis and minimize newborn infection and co-morbidity.