Characterization of vaginal & rectal colonization with multiple serotypes of group B streptococci using multiple colony picks

Patricia Ferrieri, S. L. Hillier, M. A. Krohn, D. Moore, L. C. Paoletti, A. E. Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background & objectives: There is paucity of information on vaginal and rectal colonization with multiple serotypes of group B streptococci (GBS). As part of an ongoing cohort study evaluating the natural history of vaginal and rectal colonization by GBS, the colonization with multiple serotypes was studied in 102 non-pregnant women aged 18-30 yr. Methods: Up to ten separate colony picks of beta-haemolytic streptococci (total 1515 isolates) were selected from vaginal and rectal primary culture plates. The colonies were identified as GBS, and their capsular polysaccharides (CPS) serotypes determined using monospecific rabbit antisera for types Ia-VIII by double immunodiffusion in agarose (DID). A colony dot immunoblot (DB) assay, using monospecific rabbit antisera to purified type polysaccharides conjugated to tetanus toxoid, was developed to serotype efficiently the multiple colony picks of GBS. Results: The CPS serotype distribution, examining only the 177 " a" or first colony picks from the 102 patients, was 30.5 per cent for Ia; 28.2 per cent for type III; 15.3 per cent for type II; and 13.6 per cent for type V. Only 2.8 per cent were nontypeable. Eighty of the 102 patients (78.4%) were colonized with only one serotype; 20 (19.6%) had two serotypes and two patients (2%) had three serotypes in their vaginal and/or rectal paired cultures. Overall, 91.9 per cent of the culture sites colonized with one to three CPS types (from the total number of colonies picked) were identified with a minimum of three colony picks. In 75 patients with vaginal/rectal pairs the GBS serotype concordance of only the "a" colony was 89.3 per cent and concordance decreased to 80 per cent when the serotype concordance of the total colony picks was analyzed. Interpretation & conclusion: In conclusion, there was a relatively high prevalence of serotype non-concordance in this population, and 21.6 per cent of patients had multiple GBS serotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-212
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research, Supplement
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - Aug 12 2004


  • GBS colonization
  • Multiple colony picks
  • Serotype concordance

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