Background: Recto-vaginal colonization with Group B Streptococcus during pregnancy is a major cause of bacterial infection in the perinatal period resulting in urinary tract infection, premature rupture of membranes (PROM), chorioamnionitis, endometritis, bacteraemia, as well as sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia in neonates.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of Group B Streptococcus colonization and elucidate the risk factors associated with its rectovaginal colonization among pregnant women receiving antenatal care at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted between May and August 2014. One hundred and fifty pregnant women who were between 35-40 weeks of gestation were purposively selected into the study. An interviewer administered questionnaire was administered to each consenting woman before vaginal and ano-rectal swab samples were collected. Standard microbiological methods were used to isolate and identify Group B Streptococcus from vaginal and ano-rectal swabs obtained.
Results: A total of 6 (4.0%) out of 150 pregnant women had recto-vaginal colonization with Group B Streptococcus. There was no significant statistical association between Group B Streptococcus colonization status and maternal sociodemographic characteristics including age (p>0.05), occupation (p>0.05), educational level (p>0.05), religion (p>0.05) and obstetric factors (obesity and gravidity) p>0.05.
Conclusion: This study revealed the prevalence of recto-vaginal Group B Streptococcus colonization among women obtaining antenatal care in our environment with the attendant risk to the fetuses in the affected population. Hence, there is need to conduct extensive epidemiological investigations in order to ascertain the actual Group B Streptococcus colonization rate, disease burden and to include routine screening of Group B Streptococcus during antenatal visits in our centre.