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Suggested Topics for Researchers

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For Researchers: Questions from Parents Whose Babies Have Suffered Invasive GBS Disease to Help Generate Further Studies for GBS Disease Prevention

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Preconception Care, Fertility

Are probiotics effective in reducing GBS colonization? If so, how effective?

Are vaginal or oral probiotics better?

Is GBS colonization linked with infertility? 

Is there a genetic predisposition for GBS disease?       

Prenatal-onset GBS Disease Prevention 

How should prenatal-onset GBS disease be defined? What criteria can be used to determine if infection started before membrane rupture/labor started (when early-onset prevention measures would be effective)?

If  health care providers hold off on pelvic exams until the placenta is formed, would that give a developing baby some additional measure of protection?                       

Jaxton's mother tested negative for GBSWhat is the association between elevated pH and normal GBS colonization? Is there a link between elevated pH and heavy GBS colonization? 

Does sexual intercourse during pregnancy put a GBS positive mom at higher risk to have a GBS infected baby? Climaxing without sexual intercourse?

Do the antibacterial properties in semen react against GBS?

What is the efficacy of multiple urine cultures during pregnancy?

Which alternative medicines are safe or unsafe and do any of them have a limited use in reducing colonization?

What is the incidence of infection after cervical exams? Membrane stripping? Applying cervical ripening gel?  Internal fetal monitors?

How often do women recolonize after sex? sex with multiple partners?

“Can group b strep alone cause pprom? In the info I have read, it always says it is only partly the reason, I have met so many mums now who have lost babies in the 2nd trimester who either were told it was group b strep or that they did not get a reason why, but went onto have further babies and ended up having group b strep in the following pregnancy.”

Is heavy colonization reason to take oral antibiotics during pregnancy? What are the additional risks for GBS disease in baby at various levels of colonization?

If GBS colonization in urine is 1) a marker for heavy genital tract colonization, 2) has been associated with an increased risk for early-onset disease, and 3) therefore treated with oral antibiotics at the time of diagnosis if the colony account is above a significant level, why aren’t oral antibiotics prescribed when vaginal/rectal test results show heavy colonization? Until research/protocols address this, should a pregnant woman whose vaginal/rectal test results show heavy colonization, request that her urine be cultured so that, if GBS in her urine is found to be above a significant level, she could be treated with oral antibiotics to reduce her colonization and theoretically reduce the risk of GBS infection in her baby?

False Negative Test Results

Can being treated with antibiotics at any time close to when you are tested for GBS affect the result of the GBS test?

Early-onset GBS Disease Prevention

Leah was likely infected with GBS before her mother's labor started/water brokeCould GBS occur naturally in a baby’s body that that colonization could be a source of infection? For example: baby’s hands in diaper area then in mouth (translocation)

How does GBS get in breast milk?  

What are the benefits if any of routine placental triage to alert health care providers to potential GBS infection.  See Placental Triage 101.

Should there be gown changing policies in place in hospitals to avoid infection after handling babies with GBS and other infections?

How can proper handwashing prevent babies coming into contact with GBS?

Is there a way to check if GBS is present at a C-section incision? Some babies may not become infected due to immune reasons if GBS is present, but should the presence of GBS change the course of management and/or need for observation?

Women changing from negative to positive—Are there any identifiable changes in behavior (diet, new sex partner, etc.) in women whose status has changed from negative at 35-37 weeks to positive during labor and delivery?

Is antibiotics resistance/overuse linked to any particular group of women? For example, those who have taken antibiotics repeatedly in the past–more than 6 times, etc.?

What steps could/should providers take with an infected child to obtain cause of infection results without masking them? Would culturing asap before starting antibiotic therapy help?

Late-onset GBS

Stella's last kiss before being taken off life supportHow can we ensure that babies can get immunity to GBS until a vaccine is  practical? If baby is exposed to GBS, but mom was not, breast milk, especially expressed milk, is not going to have antibodies to GBS.

If mom was truly negative, would she produce antibodies to pass on her baby? Would her baby be more vulnerable if he/she came in contact with a strain of GBS his mother did not have?

Could postpartum endometritis in the mother be related to late-onset GBS infection in her baby? Would there be a higher risk of infection so that it would be prudent to alert family and caregivers to be especially watchful for symptoms of GBS infection in their baby? Submitted in memory of Libby, taken off life support due to late-onset GBS infection. Please read her story here.

Miscellaneous

Is there a particular time of year when more infections occur and, if so, why?

Is there any research being done on chronic (persistent/reoccurring) GBS vaginitis for pregnant or non-pregnant women?

What type of research is being done to find why some babies exposed to GBS become infected and some don’t?

Is there any research as to the GBS status of a woman over time? How often is she really GBS+, and how many serotypes does she carry?

How many babies who are born to women who test negative become infected in the first week of life?

Is there any research being done as to what percentage of women fail to build up immunity to the GBS they carry? How many build up immunity, but are unable to pass that immunity to their babies via the placenta and why?

Is there any research on the long-term effects of GBS infection for GBS survivors that may not be apparent at the time, but that can show up even years later?  Can autism or ADD be a result of a GBS infection?

What research is being done on stillbirth caused by GBS?

What other organisms can cross intact membranes so that awareness can be made in those situations as well?

What would cause a GBS infection to not show up in an autopsy?

Recommend a topic for research

If you would to suggest a topic for researchers that is not listed on our site, please email it to us at info@gbs-intl.org! Our site administrators will review it and add it to the site when it’s approved.

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