OBJECTIVE: To compare a risk-based and culture-based screening approach for identification of group B streptococci (GBS) vaginal colonization using an intrapartum rectovaginal culture as the reference standard.
METHODS: Pregnant women attending the prenatal clinic at Lillebaelt Hospital, Kolding, Denmark, between April 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, were invited to participate in a prospective observational study. For prepartum culture-based screening, vaginal and rectal culture samples were obtained and, for reference, standard, paired vaginal and rectal culture samples were collected during labor. Risk factors for risk-based screening were previous early-onset GBS, GBS bacteriuria during pregnancy, maternal temperature ≥38.0°C intrapartum, and rupture of membranes for more than 18 hours.
RESULTS: The intrapartum rectovaginal GBS colonization rate was 30% (32/108) among participants with risk factors and 15% (123/794) among participants without risk factors. Culture-based screening demonstrated a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and positive likelihood ratio in predicting intrapartum GBS carriage of 78% (95% confidence interval [CI] 71-84), 95% (94-97), 78% (70-84), 95% (94-97), and 17 (12-23), respectively; for risk-based screening, these values were 21% (15-28), 90% (87-92), 30% (22-38), 85% (83-86), and 2 (1-3), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Culture-based screening performed considerably better than a risk-based approach in identifying intrapartum GBS colonization.