The effectiveness of risk-based intrapartum chemoprophylaxis for the prevention of early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal disease

Feng Ying C. Lin, Ruth A. Brenner, Yvette R. Johnson, Parvin H. Azimi, Joseph B. Philips, Joan A. Regan, Penny Clark, Leonard E. Weisman, George Rhoads, Fanhui Kong, John D. Clemens

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OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of a risk-based intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis strategy for the prevention of early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal disease. STUDY DESIGN: Cases and controls were selected from infants born to women with one or more risk factors: preterm labor or rupture of membranes, prolonged rupture of membranes (>18 hours), fever during labor, or previous child with group B streptococcal disease. Cases were matched with controls by birth hospital and gestational age. Data abstracted from medical records were analyzed to estimate the effectiveness of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis. RESULTS: We analyzed data from 109 cases and 207 controls. Nineteen (17%) case versus 69 (33%) control mothers received an acceptable regimen of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis. In adjusted analyses, the effectiveness of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis was 86% (95% confidence interval, 66%-94%). When the first dose of antibiotics was given ≥2 hours before delivery, the effectiveness increased to 89% (95% confidence interval, 70%-96%); when it was given within 2 hours of delivery, the effectiveness was 71% (95% confidence interval, -8%-92%). Effectiveness was lowest in mothers with intrapartum fever (72%, 95% confidence interval, -9%-93%). On the basis of a 70% prevalence of maternal risk factors expected among cases in the absence of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis, we estimate that the risk-based strategy could reduce early-onset group B streptococcal disease by 60%. CONCLUSIONS: The risk-based approach to intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis is effective in preventing early-onset group B streptococcal disease. To achieve the maximum preventive effect, the first dose of antibiotics should be administered at least 2 hours before delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1204-1210
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2001


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • Early-onset disease
  • Effectiveness
  • Group B Streptococcus
  • Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis

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