Neonatal infection with Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus [GBS]) is a leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns. Recent guidelines have recommended universal screening of all pregnant women to identify those colonized with GBS and administration of peripartum prophylaxis to those identified as carriers to reduce the risk of early-onset GBS disease in neonates. Enriched culture methods are the current standard for prenatal GBS screening; however, the implementation of more sensitive molecular diagnostic tests may be able to further reduce the risk of early-onset GBS infection. We report a clinical evaluation of the Xpert GBS LB assay, a molecular diagnostic test for the identification of GBS from broth-enriched vaginal/rectal specimens obtained during routine prenatal screening. A total of 826 specimens were collected from women undergoing prenatal screening (35 to 37 weeks' gestation) and tested at one of three clinical centers. Each swab specimen was tested directly prior to enrichment using the Xpert GBS assay. Following 18 to 24 h of broth enrichment, each specimen was tested using the Xpert GBS LB assay and the FDA-cleared Smart GBS assay as a molecular diagnostic comparator. Results obtained using all three molecular tests were compared to those for broth-enriched culture as the gold standard. The sensitivity and specificity of the Xpert GBS LB assay were 99.0% and 92.4%, respectively, compared to those for the gold standard culture. The Smart GBS molecular test demonstrated sensitivity and specificity of 96.8% and 95.5%, respectively. The sensitivities of the two broth-enriched molecular methods were superior to those for direct testing of specimens using the Xpert GBS assay, which demonstrated sensitivity and specificity of 85.7% and 96.2%, respectively.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)