Volume 100, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Maternal rectovaginal colonization is the major risk factor for early-onset neonatal sepsis due to Group B (GBS), a major cause of early life morbidity and mortality. Transmission generally occurs perinatally from colonized mothers to infants. Vaccines targeting a subset of GBS serotypes are under development, but GBS epidemiology remains poorly understood in many African nations. We performed a cross-sectional study of GBS colonization among pregnant women at two sites in Botswana, a country with minimal prior GBS carriage data. We found a rectovaginal colonization rate of 19%, comparable with studies in other regions; however, we also noted a striking predominance of serotype V (> 45% of strains). Although further studies are required to delineate the burden of invasive GBS disease in Botswana and the generalizability of type V epidemiology, these data provide a useful baseline for understanding the potential local impact of GBS prevention strategies, including vaccines.


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  • Received : 22 Oct 2018
  • Accepted : 03 Feb 2019
  • Published online : 25 Mar 2019

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