Group B Streptococcus (GBS)
GBS (Streptococcus agalactiae) is the leading cause of neonatal sepsis and meningitis and a commensal of the lower gastrointestinal and vaginal mucosa. Current CDC guidelines recommend universal screening in pregnant women for GBS colonization and antibiotics during labor and delivery for carriers. Investigators at the Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research are interested in mechanisms of GBS colonization and infection and the possible impact of GBS on other infections and colonization of the female urogenital tract. While many virulence factors are important for GBS infection, the sialic-acid-containing capsular polysaccharide affects both systemic and urogenital infections by downregulating immune clearance via phagocytosis and oxidative burst.