Primary Menu

Education, Events, Publication

Funding & Recognition

The Effects of Probiotics on Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Rates in Pregnant Women

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Jake Reed

Additional Presenters:
Tennessee Reed (; Taylor Eakins (
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a bacterial species commonly found in the vaginal tract of ~40% of pregnant women (Ho et al., 2016). GBS positive women are not sick, but can pass the bacteria to the infant during birth leading to possible complications for the child. GBS infection in the infant can lead to an increased risk of the infant developing sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis, and in some cases death (Ho et al., 2016). Pregnant women are tested for GBS using a vaginal swab when they are 36 weeks pregnant. According to CDC guidelines, patients who are GBS positive will be administered antibiotics 4 hours prior to delivery. Pre- and intrapartum antibiotics can adversely affect the development of the infant's immune system resulting in an increased risk for allergies, asthma, obesity, and eczema (Lamont et al., 2020).
A hypothesized solution to combat GBS colonization in pregnant women is the use of taking probiotics prophylactically to prevent GBS from colonizing, and/or eliminating GBS after it has infected the vaginal tract. There have been few (<7) clinical trials done on the effects of probiotics on GBS, with only two taking place in the United States (Aziz et al., 2018; Hanson et al., 2014). We hypothesize that if pregnant women take a probiotic every day beginning at week 28, they will have a decreased likelihood of contracting GBS. We have currently enrolled 9 pregnant women to participate in our study and are actively collecting data to address our hypothesis. Participants take a vaginal swab at week 28 to test for the presence of GBS. At that point probiotics are given to participants and one capsule will be taken daily until the end of their pregnancy. At 36/37 weeks of pregnancy, the patient's provider will perform another vaginal swab to test for GBS.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Area of Research: Health & Medicine
Faculty Mentor: Michaela Gazdik Stofer
Location: Union Building, SALTAIR ROOM (11:05am)