Vaccine, Group B Streptococcal]]>

Risk Factor: C
Class: Serums, toxoids, and vaccines/ Vaccines

Contents of this page:
Fetal Risk Summary
Breast Feeding Summary

Fetal Risk Summary

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) capsular polysaccharides (CPS) vaccine has been used in pregnancy in an attempt to prevent infection in the newborn (1). Forty women at a mean gestational age of 31 weeks (range 2636 weeks) were administered a single 50-g dose of type III CPS of GBS (1). No adverse effects were observed in the 40 newborns. The overall response rate to the vaccine, which is not commercially available, was 63%. Twenty-five infants were born to mothers who had responded to the vaccine, and at 1 and 3 months of age, 80% and 64%, respectively, continued to have protective levels of antibody (1). Although the vaccine is considered safe (2), as are other bacterial vaccines (3), the clinical effectiveness of the vaccine has not been determined and its use remains controversial (4,5,6 and 7).

In an attempt to improve on the immunogenic response in adults, researchers designed a GBS type III CPStetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (8). Although administered to nonpregnant women, vaccination with the CPSprotein conjugate preparation resulted in enhanced immunogenicity compared with uncoupled vaccine. Although the results are encouraging, it is not known at the present time whether this vaccine will produce a similar response in pregnant women or whether it will prevent perinatal infection.

Breast Feeding Summary

No data are available.



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  3. CDC. Immunization Practices Advisory Committee. General recommendations on immunization. MMWR 1989;38:20527.
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  8. Kasper DL, Paoletti LC, Wessels MR, Guttormsen H-K, Carey VJ, Jennings HJ, Baker CJ. Immune response to type III Group B streptococcal polysaccharide-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine. J Clin Invest 1996;98:230814.

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