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Vertical transmission of group B Streptococcus and associated factors among pregnant women: a cross-sectional study, Eastern Ethiopia

Authors Yadeta TA, Worku A, Egata G, Seyoum B, Marami D, Berhane Y

Received 26 August 2017

Accepted for publication 11 December 2017

Published 13 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 397—404


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Eric Nulens

Tesfaye Assebe Yadeta,1 Alemayehu Worku,2 Gudina Egata,3 Berhanu Seyoum,4 Dadi Marami,4 Yemane Berhane5

1School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia; 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 3School of Public Health, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia; 4Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia; 5Department of Epidemiology, Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Background: Vertically transmitted group B Streptococcus (GBS) causes fetal and neonatal infections. However, there is limited information on the vertical transmission of GBS in low-income countries. This study, therefore, aimed to determine the rate of vertical transmission of GBS and associated factors among pregnant women in Eastern Ethiopia.
Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional, facility-based study was conducted among pregnant women in Harar town, Eastern Ethiopia, from June to October, 2016. GBS positivity of pregnant women was confirmed by culture of rectovaginal swab. Vertical transmission at birth was confirmed by culture on swabs taken from the ear canal, umbilicus, axilla, groin, and nose within 6 hours after birth. Prevalence ratio (PR) along with 95% CI was estimated to examine factors associated with vertical transmission using log binomial regression analysis.
Results: Out of 231 GBS-colonized pregnant women at delivery, 104 births were identified as GBS colonized with a vertical transmission rate of 45.02% and 95% CI: 38.49, 51.68. Of 104 vertical transmission cases, 65 (62.50%) received no intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP), 28 (26.92%) received it <4 hours before delivery, and 11 (10.58%) received it ≥4 hours before delivery. Pre-labor rupture of membranes at term (PR: 1.93; 95% CI: 1.04, 3.57), prolonged rupture of the membrane ≥18 hours (PR: 1.76; 95% CI: 1.13, 2.74), intrapartum maternal fever (PR: 1.40; 95% CI: 1.13, 1.75), and IAP received ≥4 hours (PR: 0.17; 95% CI: 0.09, 0.30) were significantly associated with vertical transmission of GBS.
Conclusion: The magnitude of vertical transmission of GBS was very high. However, the rate of adequate IAP received by mothers was very low. Efforts need to be strengthened to screen pregnant women during antenatal care and IAP should be used as necessary. Furthermore, maternal vaccination may provide a feasible strategy to reduce the vertical transmission.

Keywords: GBS, vertical transmission, newborn, log binomial, Harar, at birth, IAP

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