Group B streptococcal septicemia of the newborn

Alternative Names

Group B strep; GBS

Definition of Group B streptococcal septicemia of the newborn

Group B streptococcal septicemia is a severe bacterial infection that affects .

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The term “septicemia” refers to an infection in the bloodstream that may travel to different body organs. Group B streptococcal septicemia is caused by the bacterium , which is commonly called “group B strep” or GBS. A newborn with septicemia is very sick.

Signs and tests

To diagnose GBS septicemia, GBS bacteria must be found in a sample of blood (blood culture) taken from a sick newborn.


Treatment may involve one or more of the following:

Expectations (prognosis)

This disease can be deadly without prompt treatment.


Kimberly G. Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 12/10/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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