Prevention strategies can reduce the incidence of early-onset group B Streptococcus (GBS) neonatal sepsis (EOGBS). Rates of GBS colonization and infection vary among regions within China. China has not adopted a unified prevention strategy.
To assess strategies to reduce EOGBS in China, models were developed to quantify residual EOGBS rates with intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis in infants ≥ 35 weeks’ gestation in risk factor-based and antepartum screening-based strategies. Maternal GBS colonization rates and EOGBS incidence in 3 regions of China (A: Xiamen of Fujian province, B: Shanghai and C: Liuzhou of Guangxi province) were estimated from published data.
Estimates for GBS colonization and attack rates were 21.6%, 11.7% and 6.1% and 1.79, 1.79 and 0.58 per 1000 live births for regions A, B and C, respectively. Modeling predicted that strategies including screening cultures beginning at 36 weeks’ gestation and intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis in 90% of eligible parturients could reduce EOGBS incidence to 0.44, 0.50 and 0.16 per 1000 live births in these regions. In region C, the expected EOGBS rate could be reduced to 0.28 per 1000 using a risk factor-based strategy.
Different strategies for preventing EOGBS may be needed in different regions of mainland China. Screening strategies may be most appropriate in regions with higher attack rates, even with moderate levels of maternal GBS colonization. In areas with low attack rates, risk factor strategies that reduce morbidity by at least one-third may suffice.