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Group B streptococcus, known as group B strep, is one of many kinds of streptococcus bacteria that infect humans. Group B strep can live in a healthy person's body without causing illness. But it can be life-threatening.
People who are at risk for severe group B strep infection include newborns who catch it from their mothers during childbirth and people who have weakened immune systems (as from chronic illness or cancer treatment).
Group B strep is treated with antibiotics. Pregnant women get tested for group B strep during pregnancy. To prevent newborn infection, any women with group B strep infection are treated in the last weeks of pregnancy or during labor.
Last Revised: January 10, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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