July is Group B Strep Awareness

Group B Strep is a type of bacteria that naturally exists in the gastrointestinal tract and lower reproductive tracts of both men and women (National Today, para 1). Elderly adults account for over 40% of individuals diagnosed with invasive group B streptococcal (GBS) disease and over half the GBS-associated deaths in the United States (Edwards & Baker, p. 839). Symptoms of invasive GBS infection in the geriatric population are wide ranging. The most common clinical manifestation is cellulitis of the skin and soft tissues. This is usually complicated by lymphedema and vascular insufficiency (Edwards & Baker, p. 843). Infected decubitus ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers are also common in the elderly with invasive group B strep infection (Edwards & Baker, p. 843). Less common complications of GBS infection in older adults include urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and bactremia with no identified source (Edwards & Baker, p.844). The treatment of choice for group B strep is antibiotics with Penicillin being the most sensitive to GBS (Edwards & Baker, p. 844).


Edwards, M. and Baker, C. Group B Streptoccal Infections in Elderly Adults. Aging and Infectious Diseases. (16 August 2005). https://doi.org/10.1086/432804

National Today. International Group B Strep Awareness Month. (2017-2022). https://nationaltoday.com/international-group-b-strep-awareness-month/