Streptococcus agalactiae or Group B strep is a gram-positive bacterium that expresses the Lancefield group B specific carbohydrate antigen on the cell wall. The prevalence of this bacterium in pregnant women as asymptomatic carriers is estimated to be 1 in 4, and its transmission during birth (early onset transmission) or after birth (late-onset transmission) to a newborn can have a fatality rate as high as 50%. Testing pregnant women in the third trimester is the recommended timeframe, and enzyme-linked immune assays and lateral flow may provide rapid diagnostic benefits in managing transmission to neonates and infants.
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