What is Group B Strep (GBS)?

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is found in the lower intestine of 10-35% of all healthy adults and in the vagina and/or lower intestine of 10-35% of all healthy, adult women. Group B Strep should not be confused with Group A Strep, which causes strep throat. A person whose body carries Group B Strep bacteria but who does not show signs of infection is said to be "colonized" with Group B Strep. GBS colonization is not contagious. GBS bacteria are a normal part of the commonly found bacteria in the human body. Normally, the presence of GBS does not cause problems. In certain circumstances, however, Group B Strep bacteria can invade the body and cause serious infection; this is referred to as Group B Strep disease.

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