© 1990 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
Intravenous Gamma Globulin as Adjunct Therapy for Severe Group B Streptococcal Disease in the Newborn
04 March 2008 (online)
Group B streptococcal (GBS) disease remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among newborns despite aggressive antibiotic and supportive therapy. Recent success with the prophylactic use of intravenous gamma globulin (IVIg) in newborns suggests that use of IVIg may be an additional therapy for infants with severe GBS disease. Eighty-four infants with GBS antigen in serum, urine, and in some cases spinal fluid were identified by a rapid latex agglutination assay. Twenty-four of these infants had both neutropenia and serum GBS antigen titers of 1:10 or greater and had the highest risk of dying from their infection. Before the availability of IVIg, seven of the first 12 of these infants identified with the highest risk factors died (58%). Twelve additional patients with these highest risk factors have been treated with IVIg. Two of these 12 died (17%), p < 0.01 when compared with the previous highest risk group. In surviving patients in both IVIg-treated and non-IVIg-treated groups, the time for recovery from neutropenia was 2 to 4 days. Our study suggests a possible beneficial effect of IVIg as adjunct therapy in severe GBS disease.