Group B streptococcal prevalence in internal organs and placentas of deceased neonates and stillbirths in South Asia

Mangala G. Kallapur, Najia K. Ghanchi, Sheetal U. Harakuni, Manjunath S. Somannavar, Imran Ahmed, Elizabeth Fogleman, Kay Hwang, Jean Kim, Sarah Saleem, Shivaprasad S. Goudar, Shiyam Sunder Tikmani, Sangappa M. Dhaded, Gowdar Guruprasad, Haleema Yasmin, S. Yogeshkumar, Elizabeth M. McClure, Robert L. Goldenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Group B streptococcus (GBS) has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, but few prospective studies have assessed its prevalence in low- and middle-income country settings. We sought to evaluate the prevalence of GBS by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in internal organ tissues and placentas of deceased neonates and stillbirths. Design: This was a prospective, observational study. Setting: The study was conducted in hospitals in India and Pakistan. Population: Pregnant women with stillbirths or preterm births were recruited at delivery, as was a group of women with term, live births, to serve as a control group. Methods: A rectovaginal culture was collected from the women in Pakistan to assess GBS carriage. Using PCR, we evaluated GBS in various tissues of stillbirths and deceased neonates and their placentas, as well as the placentas of live-born preterm and term control infants. Main outcome measures: GBS identified by PCR in various tissues and the placentas; rate of stillbirths and 28-day neonatal deaths. Results: The most obvious finding from this series of analyses from India and Pakistan was that no matter the country, the condition of the subject, the tissue studied or the methodology used, the prevalence of GBS was low, generally ranging between 3% and 6%. Among the risk factors evaluated, only GBS positivity in primigravidae was increased. Conclusions: GBS diagnosed by PCR was identified in <6% of internal organs of stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and their placentas, and control groups in South Asian sites. This is consistent with other reports from South Asia and is lower than the reported GBS rates from the USA, Europe and Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue numberS3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • South Asia
  • group B streptococcus
  • neonatal deaths
  • prevalence
  • stillbirths


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