Changes in the incidence and epidemiology of neonatal group B Streptococcal disease over the last two decades in Crete, Greece

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Eleni Vergadi
Antonia Manoura
Emmanouil Chatzakis
Emmanouil Karavitakis
Sofia Maraki
Emmanouil Galanakis *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Emmanouil Galanakis | emmgalan@uoc.gr

Abstract

Group B streptococcus (GBS) remains a leading cause of neonatal disease. However, GBS rates and prevention strategies vary considerably worldwide. Herein, we investigated the burden and epidemiological trends of neonatal GBS infections in our area (Greece) over the last two decades. We conducted a multicenter retrospective study that includes all cases of culture-proven GBS disease in infants <90 days old in the last 22 years. Neonatal GBS incidence was 0.17/1000 live births (95%CI: 0.11-0.21). A significant increase was noted during the second decade (0.23 vs 0.10/1000, P<0.05). Late onset disease (LOD) significantly increased during the second decade (0.08 vs 0.02, P<0.05). Infants in the LOD group had a higher risk of meningitis (RR 1.8, 95%CI: 1.23-2.71). Long-term neurological sequelae were reported in 42.8% of meningitis cases. The mortality rate was 8%. The incidence of neonatal GBS disease in our area is among the lowest reported, but an increase was noted the last decade mainly due a rise in the LOD. The burden of LOD, the mortality and long-term disability are still substantial, thus effective prevention strategies − including maternal vaccination for neonatal GBS − are needed.


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