From the Editor

Friday, December 23, 2016 Published in On-Demand Spring 2013 Written by David Persing M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical and Technology Officer, Cepheid

In this issue of On Demand, Dr. Ellen Jo Baron provides a comprehensive summary of the public health challenge posed by Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and the “Test and Treat” strategies that have been highly effective in interrupting transmission of this pathogen. Cepheid is pleased to be able to offer comprehensive GBS testing options for the antepartum and intrapartum setting; our most recently cleared GBS testing option, Xpert® GBS LB, combines ease of use with superior sensitivity. We think you will find this issue to be highly informative.

Group B Streptococcal Neonatal Disease: Mission Accomplished??

Friday, December 23, 2016 Published in On-Demand Spring 2013 Written by Written by Ellen Jo Baron Ph.D., D(ABMM) Prof. Emerita, Stanford University Director of Medical Affairs, Cepheid

Testing pregnant women for their group B streptococcal (GBS) colonization status was not a widespread practice in U.S. clinical microbiology laboratories, even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published their initial draft guidelines in 1994 and recommendations in 1996.12 Since seminal publications appeared in the 1970’s, it was known that early onset GBS disease (EOGBSD) was acquired by the neonate either right before delivery or as it passed through the colonized birth canal.6 As recently as 1972, 2 infants per 1000 live births were affected and there were 12,000 cases per year in the U.S. The fatality rate among infected infants was 50%. In fact, when I first arrived in Palo Alto to direct the clinical microbiology laboratories at Stanford in 1997, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology was still relying on risk-based prophylaxis for women arriving in labor rather than antenatal cultures, in contrast to the community laboratories for which I had been consulting in southern California.