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Group B streptococcus (GBS) is an important cause of meningitis and sepsis in babies, affecting approximately 1 in 1000 live births in the United Kingdom.

Photo credit: NIH

Group B streptococcus (GBS) bacteria are found in the birth canal of approximately 40% of pregnant women, and in some countries (but not the UK) all pregnant women are screened for GBS and those who are found positive receive antibiotics during birth to protect their baby. Studies evaluating the use of an investigational GBS vaccine in pregnant women have been conducted in Belgium and South Africa; if successful such a vaccine might provide an alternative approach to GBS prevention. 

To evaluate the attitudes of pregnant women, obstetric health care workers and neonatologists to:

  • Vaccine prevention of GBS disease by maternal immunisation
  • Clinical trials of an investigational GBS vaccine in pregnant women

Completed Clinical Research 

Attitudes to maternal GBS immunisation were determined by:
  • An online survey of 1000 women of child bearing age
  • A series of focus groups and interviews involving pregnant women, parents of children affected by GBS disease and maternal health care workers
  • A national paper questionnaire of over 300 pregnant women, 300 maternal healthcare workers and 100 neonatalogists

From these studies, we have identified that pregnant women and parents with experience of GBS were open to the idea of an antenatal GBS vaccine and participating in research. These groups were, if anything, more positive than maternity health professionals, suggesting an awareness campaign for GBS immunisation would need to include health care professionals.

Our team