Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) is a normal Gram Positive bacterium
which is carried by 20-40% of adults, most commonly in the gut. For up to 25% of women, it is present in the vagina, usually without symptoms or side-effects. At birth, babies can become colonised (the first stage of microbial infection). In some cases, systemic infection can develop in the baby.
GBS infection in newborns is the principal cause of:
•Grunting, noisy breathing, moaning, seems to be struggling to breathe when you look at the chest or tummy, or not breathing at all.
•Be very sleepy and/or unresponsive
•Be unusually floppy
•Not feeding well or not keeping milk down
•Have a high or low temperature and/or be hot or cold to the touch
•Have changes in their skin colour (including blotchy skin)
•Have an abnormally fast or slow heart rate or breathing rate
•Have low blood pressure
GBS infection in young babies is a medical emergency: if you suspect GBS infection in your baby phone 999/112 immediately