Direct identification of Streptococcus agalactiae and capsular type by real-time PCR in vaginal swabs from pregnant women

Miyuki Morozumi, Naoko Chiba, Yuko Igarashi, Naoki Mitsuhashi, Takeaki Wajima, Satoshi Iwata, Kimiko Ubukata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Most group B streptococcus (GBS) infections in newborns are with capsular type Ia, Ib, or III. To prevent these infections more effectively, we developed a real-time PCR method to simultaneously detect GBS species and identify these 3 capsular types in vaginal swab samples from women at 36-39 weeks of gestation. DNA to be detected included those of the dltS gene (encoding a histidine kinase specific to GBS) and cps genes encoding capsular types. PCR sensitivity was 10 CFU/well for a 33-35 threshold cycle. Results were obtained within 2 h. Direct PCR results were compared with results obtained from cultures. Samples numbering 1226 underwent PCR between September 2008 and August 2012. GBS positivity rates by direct PCR and after routine culture were 15.7% (n = 192) and 12.6% (n = 154), respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of direct PCR relative to culture were 96.1% and 95.9%. Of GBS positive samples identified by PCR, capsular types determined directly by real-time PCR were Ia (n = 24), Ib (n = 32), and III (n = 26). Real-time PCR using our designed cycling probe is a practical, highly sensitive method for identification of GBS in pregnant carriers, allowing use of prophylactic intrapartum antibiotics in time to cover the possibility of unexpected premature birth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-38
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of infection and chemotherapy : official journal of the Japan Society of Chemotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1



  • Capsular type
  • Pregnant women
  • Real-time PCR
  • Streptococcus agalactiae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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