Background International guidelines lack a substantial consensus regarding management of asymptomatic full-term and late preterm neonates at risk for early-onset disease (EOS). Large cohorts of newborns are suitable to increase the understanding of the safety and efficacy of a given strategy. Methods This is a prospective, area-based, cohort study involving regional birth facilities of Emilia-Romagna (Italy). We compared cases of EOS (at or above 35 weeks' gestation) registered in 2003-2009 (baseline period: 266,646 LBs) and in 2010-2016, after introduction of a new strategy (serial physical examinations, SPEs) for managing asymptomatic neonates at risk for EOS (intervention period: 265,508 LBs). Results There were 108 cases of EOS (baseline period, n = 60; intervention period, n = 48). Twenty-two (20.4 remained asymptomatic through the first 72 hours of life, whereas 86 (79.6 developed symptoms, in most cases (52/86, 60.5 at birth or within 6 hours. The median age at presentation was significantly earlier in the intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP)-exposed than in the IAP-unexposed neonates (0 hours, IQR 0.0000-0.0000 vs 6 hours, IQR 0.0000-15.0000, p
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 2019


  • Streptococcal infection
  • Newborn
  • Group B streptococcus


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