Pregnant women can test for leading cause of life threatening infection in newborn babies

January 5, 2017

Strepelle – a new DIY group B Strep test available in the UK

 

National charity Group B Strep Support is delighted to announce a partnership with healthcare company HiberGene Diagnostics to help pregnant women to test for group B Strep – the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies.

One in four pregnant women is unknowingly carrying group B Strep bacteria, which causes meningitis, sepsis or pneumonia in more than 500 newborn babies a year. 

On average, one newborn baby a week dies from group B Strep infection.

Testing for Group B Streptococcus (group B Strep or GBS) is not routinely available through the NHS, unlike countries such as the USA, France, Germany, Poland and many others. strepelle

HiberGene Diagnostics’ test for GBS is called Strepelle and uses the international ‘gold standard’ ECM method for detecting group B Strep carriage, recognised in Public Health England’s UK Standard.  

“We are delighted to be working with HiberGene Diagnostics who are supporting our helplines and information services for new and expectant parents” says Jane Plumb MBE, Chief Executive of Group B Strep Support.  “Pregnant women are rarely offered testing in the NHS, and if they are, a ‘gold-standard’ test like Strepelle is seldom available.  With their help, and their test, we are confident that more babies will be protected from preventable group B Strep infection.”

Brendan Farrell, Chairman and CEO of HiberGene Diagnostics agrees, “Commercial tests like Strepelle enable women to find out whether they carry group B Strep in pregnancy so they can make informed choices about what is best for them and their baby.  Identifying pregnant women likely to be carrying group B Strep and giving them IV penicillin during labour can reduce group B Strep infection in newborn babies by over 80%”.

Strepelle costs £39.99 and is available from selected independent pharmacies and online from www.strepelle.com.

Strepelle is an easy to use home-to-laboratory test recommended from 35 weeks gestation. Once the laboratory has received the completed test, the results are sent via text within three working days and, for positive results, a hard-copy of the results is also sent.

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