Neonatal group B streptococcus disease in developing countries: Are we ready to deploy a vaccine?

Pui Ying Iroh Tam, Shirley F. Delair, Stephen K. Obaro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Group B streptococcus (GBS) disease is the leading cause of neonatal sepsis in developed countries and has high case fatality rates. In developing countries, however, the burden of GBS is less clear; this is due to a lack of studies using optimal diagnostic, clinical and laboratory techniques and is complicated by the wide availability of non-prescription antibiotics to the general population and in peripartum patients. There is an urgent need for prospective, population-based surveillance to provide an accurate assessment of neonatal GBS disease burden in developing countries, which remains largely unrecognized, and consequently obscures the potential relevance of GBS vaccination in these populations. Preliminary data on GBS vaccines are promising as a preventive tool for neonatal GBS infection, more so than any other currently available public health initiative. However, how do we assess the true impact of a GBS vaccine without accurate surveillance data on the real burden of disease?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1403
Number of pages3
JournalExpert Review of Vaccines
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
P Iroh Tam has received an investigator-initiated grant from Pfizer. SF Delair is a PI or Sub-I on drug research with the following companies: Cubist Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Optimer Pharm and the Medicines Company. SK Obaro is a scientific advisory board member of Gendrivax, and a research grant recipient of Pfizer and GSK. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • Streptococcus agalactiae
  • broad-spectrum antimicrobial use
  • developing countries
  • group B streptococcus
  • intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis
  • neonatal sepsis
  • vaccination


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