J Korean Med Sci.  2010 Jun;25(6):817-823. 10.3346/jkms.2010.25.6.817.

Changing Molecular Epidemiology of Group B Streptococcus in Korea

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Eulji Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. USA.
  • 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Laboratory Medicine, Eulji Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cheil General Hospital & Women's Healthcare Center, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Seoul Clinical Laboratories & Seoul Medical Science Institute, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Department of Preventive Medicine, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea. kimoran@eulji.ac.kr


The prevalence of group B streptococcus (GBS) among pregnant women and disease burdens in neonates and adults are increasing in Korea. Colonizing isolates, collected by screening pregnant women (n=196), and clinical isolates collected from clinical patients throughout Korea (n=234), were serotyped and screened for antibiotic resistance. Serotype III (29.8%) and V (27.7%) predominated, followed by Ia (17.0%). Antibiotic resistance was higher among clinical than colonizing isolates for erythromycin (35.1% and 26.9%; P=0.10) and for clindamycin (49.4% and 42.1%; P=0.17). erm(B) occurred in 91.9% of erythromycin resistant isolates, and 84.0% of isolates resistant to clindamycin. Only five isolates (4.2%) resistant to erythromycin were susceptible to clindamycin; by contrast, and unique to Korea, 34% of isolates resistant to clindamycin were erythromycin susceptible. Among these 60 erythromycin-susceptible & clindamycin-resistant isolates, 88% was serotype III, and lnu(B) was found in 89% of strains. Four fifths of the serotype V isolates were resistant to both erythromycin and clindamycin. Further characterization of the genetic assembly of these resistance conferring genes, erm(B) and lnu(B), will be useful to establish the clonal lineages of multiple resistance genes carrying strains.


Drug Resistance, Microbial; Genotype; Pregnant Women; Streptococcus Agalactiae; Serotyping
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