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Increase Seen in Early Neonatal Group B Strep Infections

Higher incidence among black infants account for much of the rise

MONDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- There was an increase in the incidence of early-onset neonatal group B Streptococcus infections from 2003 to 2006, but the incidence of late-onset infections has remained stable from 2000 to 2006, according to a report published in the Feb. 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Mirasol Apostol, of the California Department of Public Health, and colleagues report on incidence of group B Streptococcus infections to update a report on 2000-2005 data published in 2007 by incorporating 2006 data from the Active Bacterial Core surveillance system.

There were 1,199 early-onset cases and 1,005 late-onset cases of group B Streptococcus from 2000 to 2006, and the data revealed a downtrend in overall cases of early-onset disease from 2000 when there were 0.52 cases per 1,000 live births to 2003 when there were 0.31 cases per 1,000 live births, then an uptrend from 2003 to 2006 when there were 0.40 cases per 1,000 live births in 2006, the researchers report. Infections among black infants drove the increase in early-onset disease, they note.

"Continued monitoring is needed to follow trends in early-onset group B Streptococcus disease among black infants to determine whether interventions are warranted," the authors write.

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