Treatments for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in Children

How does a doctor know that it's group B streptococcus?

In infants, GBS may be cultured from samples of sterile body fluids, such as blood or spinal fluid.

Traditional treatments for group B streptococcus

If you have a positive GBS culture during pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends treatment with intravenous (IV) antibiotics during labor to reduce the risk of transmission of the infection to the baby.

Treatment may also be needed if you are at risk for any of the following:

  • fever during labor
  • rupture of membranes (bag of waters) for 18 hours or longer
  • labor or rupture of membranes before 37 weeks gestation
  • history of GBS infection in a previous baby

If your newborn becomes ill with GBS infection, she may require care in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). They are usually treated with intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Other treatments and specialized care may be needed depending on the severity of the infection and whether the infection causes serious problems such as meningitis or pneumonia.