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Volume 52, Number 4, August 2019

Serotype distribution and clinical correlation of Streptococcus agalactiae causing invasive disease in infants and children in Taiwan 

Chiao-Wei Lo, Hao-Chuan Liu, Chien-Chung Lee, Chia-Ling Lin, Chyi-Liang Chen, Mei-Jy Jeng, Cheng-Hsun Chiu


Background and purpose: 

Streptococcus agalactiae, or group B Streptococcus (GBS), remains to be one of the leading pathogens causing invasive infections in infants. 



The clinical GBS isolates from sterile sites of patients younger than 18 years old were collected from October 1998 to December 2014 in two hospitals in Taiwan. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed. Every isolate was serotyped with a multiplex PCR assay. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was performed in representative isolates of different serotypes. A total of 205 GBS isolates were collected from 181 patients with 182 infection episodes. 



Serotype Ia was the most common in patients less than 72 h old, whereas III the most common in patients older than 72 h. In early-onset disease (0–6 days), Ia and III each caused 27.5% of the infection, followed by Ib (14.5%). In late-onset disease (7–89 days), serotype III predominated (75.3%), followed by Ia (10.1%) and Ib (6.8%). Thirty-one episodes (17%) were complicated with culture-confirmed meningitis. We compared serotype Ia and III patients, and found that serotype Ia patients were significantly younger (median age, 3 days), had more perinatal maternal fever and higher mortality. ST17 and ST19 were exclusively found in serotype III, while ST23 and ST24 comprised of 85% of serotype Ia. 



In Taiwan, serotypes Ia and III are the most common cause for early-onset and late-onset neonatal GBS infections, respectively. Some differences in the clinical features of invasive GBS infections caused by serotype Ia and III were observed.



Key words:

Streptococcus agalactiaeGBSNeonatal sepsisserotypeMLSTGBS meningitis