The aim of this study was to compare the performances of two strategies for predicting intrapartum vaginal carriage of group B streptococci (GBS). One strategy was based on an antepartum culture and the other on an intrapartum polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We conducted a prospective observational study enrolling 902 pregnant women offered GBS screening before delivery by two strategies. The Culture-strategy was based on vaginal and rectal cultures at 35-37 weeks' gestation, whereas the PCR-strategy was based on PCR assay on intrapartum vaginal swab samples. An intrapartum vaginal culture for GBS was used as the reference standard from which the performances of the 2 strategies were evaluated. The reference standard showed a GBS-prevalence of 12%. The culture-strategy performed with a sensitivity of 82%, specificity of 91%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 55%, negative predictive value (NPV) of 98%, and Likelihood ratio (LH+) of 9.2. The PCR-strategy showed corresponding values as sensitivity of 83%, specificity of 97%, PPV of 78%, NPV of 98%, and LH+ of 27.5. We conclude that in a Danish population with a low rate of early-onset neonatal infection with GBS, the intrapartum PCR assay performs better than the antepartum culture for identification of GBS vaginal carriers during labor.
- Journal Article