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Volume 49, Number 6, December 2016

Clonal dissemination of invasive and colonizing clonal complex 1 of serotype VI group B Streptococcus in central Taiwan 

Hsiao-Chuan Lin, Chao-Jung Chen, Kai-Hung Chiang, Ting-Yu Yen, Cheng-Mao Ho, Kao-Pin Hwang, Bai-Horng Su, Hung-Chih Lin, Tsai-Chung Li, Jang-Jih Lu


Corresponding author:

Jang-Jih Lu 


Background and purpose: 

The aim of this study was to investigate clinical presentation, serotype distribution and genetic correlation of group B streptococcus (GBS) diseases. Since serotype VI prevalence far exceeded that reported in prior studies, genetic relationship of isolates was further analyzed. 



GBS isolates obtaining from patients with invasive diseases and pregnant women with colonization between June 2007 and December 2010 were analyzed. All isolates were tested for serotypes by multiplex PCR assay and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Serotype VI isolates were further analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). 



A total of 134 GBS isolates were recovered from blood of 126 patients with invasive disease (94.0%) and anogenital swabs of 8 pregnant women (6.0%). Most common serotype was Ib (21.6%), followed by V (20.1%), VI (18.7%), III (15.7%), II (11.9 %), Ia (11.2%), and IX (0.7%). Serotype VI was also the leading type in infants with early onset disease (EOD; 3/8, 37.5%) and colonizing pregnant women (3/8, 37.5%). PFGE distinguished 33 pulsotypes, reflecting genetic diversity among GBS isolates. Among 25 serotype VI isolates tested, 14 were ST-1, seven were ST-679, three were ST-678, one was ST-681, and distributed into four PFGE pulsotypes. ST-678, ST-679, and ST-681 were novel sequence types; ST-678 and ST-679 are single-locus variants of ST-1 that belongs to clonal complex (CC) 1.




CC1 dissemination of serotype VI GBS thus emerges as an important invasive pathogen in infants and nonpregnant adults in central Taiwan. Serotype prevalence of GBS must be continuously monitored geographically to guide prevention strategy of GBS vaccines. 


Key words:

group B Streptococcus, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), sequence type