Group B Streptococcus Early-Onset Disease: New Preventive and Diagnostic Tools to Decrease the Burden of Antibiotic Use

Charlotte M. Nusman, Linde Snoek, Lisanne M. van Leeuwen, Thomas H. Dierikx, Bo M. van der Weijden, Niek B. Achten, Merijn W. Bijlsma, Douwe H. Visser, Marlies A. van Houten, Vincent Bekker, Tim G.J. de Meij, Ellen van Rossem, Mariet Felderhof, Frans B. Plötz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


The difficulty in recognizing early-onset neonatal sepsis (EONS) in a timely manner due to non-specific symptoms and the limitations of diagnostic tests, combined with the risk of serious consequences if EONS is not treated in a timely manner, has resulted in a low threshold for starting empirical antibiotic treatment. New guideline strategies, such as the neonatal sepsis calculator, have been proven to reduce the antibiotic burden related to EONS, but lack sensitivity for detecting EONS. In this review, the potential of novel, targeted preventive and diagnostic methods for EONS is discussed from three different perspectives: maternal, umbilical cord and newborn perspectives. Promising strategies from the maternal perspective include Group B Streptococcus (GBS) prevention, exploring the virulence factors of GBS, maternal immunization and antepartum biomarkers. The diagnostic methods obtained from the umbilical cord are preliminary but promising. Finally, promising fields from the newborn perspective include biomarkers, new microbiological techniques and clinical prediction and monitoring strategies. Consensus on the definition of EONS and the standardization of research on novel diagnostic biomarkers are crucial for future implementation and to reduce current antibiotic overexposure in newborns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number489
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

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