Possible nosocomial transmission of group B streptococci in a newborn nursery

Allen C. Steere, Robert C. Aber, Lloyd R. Warford, Kenneth E. Murphy, James C. Feeley, Peggy S. Hayes, Hazel W. Wilkinson, Richard R. Facklam

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Within a six-day period in March, 1974, three infants born at a hospital in central Arkansas developed meningitis caused by group B, type III streptococci. Three factors suggested nosocomial transmission of the organism in the nursery (1) the three infants were born in a six-day period, (2) four weeks after their infants' births, none of the parents had positive cultures for group B streptococci, and (3) 31% of infants born in the hospital in March were colonized with group B, type III streptococci, while in April, after control measures in the nursery were instituted, only 2% of infants were colonized with this type (p<0.0002). Colonized infants were treated with penicillin but follow-up cultures at two and six weeks showed that half the infants tested were still colonized. The number of personnel colonized with group B streptococci was not significantly different in personnel exposed to infants when compared with those that were not, and handwashing and environmental cultures were negative for group B streptococci. The results of this investigation give additional support to the concept that nosocomial transmission of group B streptococci can occur and may be effectively, interrupted by control measures in the nursery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-787
Number of pages4
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1975

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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