Nurse-Midwifery M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Sandau, Kristin


Background: Streptococcus agalactiae (known as Group B strep, or GBS) is a bacterium that resides in the gastrointestinal tract and/or vaginal canal and is typically benign, but during pregnancy and birth it can potentially colonize the neonate, causing early-onset group B streptococcal disease (EOGBSD) of the neonate. The use of antibiotics has reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with neonatal infections, but it is not an entirely effective means of preventing the infections and the development of antibiotic resistance may render antibiotics ineffective for this purpose. Alternative methods of preventing GBS colonization are in use by consumers and out-of-hospital birth providers, but it is unclear whether or not these methods are supported in the literature. Purpose: To evaluate the literature in support of alternative methods to reduce or prevent GBS colonization. Results: Using germ theory as a theoretical framework, twenty-two articles were identified for review and appraised using the Johns Hopkins Research Evidence Appraisal Tool. The major findings of the reviewed literature were that chlorhexidine has not demonstrated consistent benefit in reducing GBS colonization, and both probiotics and garlic have in vitro effects against GBS, but they lack the testing necessary to support in vivo use. Conclusion: There are many alternative methods in practice, but they all suffer from a lack of literature to guide their use. Implications for Research and Practice: The findings of this review support the idea that alternative methods may be a viable alternative to antibiotics, but there is a critical need for research to definitively support the practice.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse-Midwifery

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis