Report highlights need for maternal group B Strep vaccine

A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is calling for more urgency on efforts to develop a maternal vaccine against group B Streptococcus (GBS) to prevent newborn deaths, neurodevelopmental problems, and maternal complications.

Although the GBS bacterium is common in the human microbiome and is carried by an average of 15% of all pregnant women worldwide (approximately 20 million women globally), it can be passed to newborns during labor and delivery and cause serious invasive infections, including meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, and sepsis.

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