AAP Reviews CDC Guideline to Prevent Perinatal Group B Strep

Laurie Barclay, MD

August 01, 2011

August 1, 2011 — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a policy statement, reported online August 1 in Pediatrics, on preventing perinatal group B streptococcal (GBS) disease. The policy statement was intended to review and discuss the differences between the 2002 and 2010 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines that are most relevant to pediatric practice.

"In 2002, the CDC published revised guidelines that recommended universal antenatal GBS screening; the AAP endorsed these guidelines and published recommendations based on them in the 2003 Red Book," write Carol J. Baker, MD, and colleagues from the AAP. "The CDC issued revised guidelines in 2010 based on evaluation of data generated after 2002. These revised and comprehensive guidelines, which have been endorsed by the AAP, reaffirm the major prevention strategy—universal antenatal GBS screening and intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis for culture-positive and high-risk women—and include new recommendations for laboratory methods for identification of GBS colonization during pregnancy, algorithms for screening and intrapartum prophylaxis for women with preterm labor and premature rupture of membranes, updated prophylaxis recommendations for women with a penicillin allergy, and a revised algorithm for the care of newborn infants."

Specific recommendations in the AAP policy statement for the care of newborn infants include the following:

  • Full diagnostic evaluation, including lumbar puncture, and empiric antimicrobial treatment are indicated for all newborn infants with signs of sepsis (AII recommendation).

  • Limited diagnostic evaluation without lumbar puncture and empiric antimicrobial treatment are indicated for all well-appearing newborn infants of mothers diagnosed with chorioamnionitis by their obstetrician (AII).

  • Newborn infants of all women who received adequate intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) require only routine care and observation in the hospital for 48 hours (B III). They may be discharged as early as 24 hours after birth, with follow-up care by a clinician within 48 to 72 hours, if they meet other discharge criteria, including term birth and ready access to medical care (CII). Adequate IAP includes penicillin (preferred), ampicillin, or cefazolin (in penicillin-allergic women at low risk for anaphylaxis) for at least 4 hours before delivery.

  • Observation only for 48 hours is required for well-appearing term newborn infants whose mothers received no or inadequate IAP and had rupture of membranes for less than 18 hours (BIII).

  • "Limited evaluation" (blood culture and complete blood cell count with differential and platelets at birth) and observation for at least 48 hours are indicated for well-appearing term infants born to women with no or inadequate IAP and rupture of membranes for 18 or more hours before delivery (BIII).

  • All preterm infants of mothers with no or inadequate IAP should undergo limited evaluation and observation for at least 48 hours (BIII).

Pediatrics. Published online August 1, 2011.

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