While GBS screenings are the standard in the US and in Europe, there are still parts of the world where the 1 in 5 women globally who carry GBS may not receive screening or treatment. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a study led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, involving more than 100 researchers who published a series of 11 research papers reporting on GBS occurances globally. These papers estimate 410,000 GBS cases every year, resulting in 147,000 stillbirths and infant deaths globally. The top five countries found to have the highest instance of colonized women were India, China, Nigeria, the US, and Indonesia. For more information on this study and GBS, see the below references.
Group B strep, or Streptococcus agalactiae, is a Gram positive cocci that normally occurs in approximately 20% of healthy adults. In most cases, GBS poses no threat to its host, however, in rare instances it can cause serious issues. Identified as a major risk to infants during labor in the early 1990’s, the CDC published screening guidelines in 1996. By 1999, the incidence of GBS in infants had decreased dramatically. With early detection of GBS between 35-37 weeks gestation, a woman who is a carrier can be treated with penicillin during labor, which causes an infant’s risk of developing a GBS infection to drop from 1 in 200 to 1 in 4,000.
In 2005, Hardy Diagnostics introduced Carrot Broth as an innovative way to detect deadly Group B Strep infections in pregnant women, reducing the occurrence of sepsis in newborns. In 2012, Carrot Broth was included in the CDC’s recommended procedures for the detection of Group B Strep in pregnant women. Carrot Broth was also CE marked for sale worldwide. Carrot Broth has an impressive lineup of qualifications. In its time on the market it’s been found to have 98.8% sensitivity and 98.2% specificity and it’s been shown by Loyola University to be more sensitive than PCR. You can find a detailed description of how versatile, easy to use, and effective Carrot Broth is on the Instructions for Use, here.
Carrot Broth is a particular point of pride for Hardy Diagnostics, as it’s not only a completely unique product on the market, but a quick calculation based off our 2013 sales numbers of Carrot Broth products tells us that with this product alone, Hardy saves a baby’s life every 21 minutes!
That’s 3 an hour, and 67 babies saved a day. This product exemplifies Hardy Diagnostics’ mission to prevent and diagnose disease, and ultimately, to alleviate human suffering.
However, Hardy’s innovation regarding the GBS line hasn’t stopped at that! While Carrot Broth offers an improvement over conventional methods, the tiles could be cumbersome and add another step to workups in already busy lab settings. So we got rid of them! The new tile-less version of Carrot Broth, Carrot Broth One-Step, has been found to perform equivalently to the original formula, without the added hassle of adding the tile. Just drop your swab and incubate! Results can be obtained in as little as sixteen hours. No need to confirm positives, only negatives need to be subbed to plates to pick up the 4.7-.5% of GBS strains that are non-hemolytic. Starting March 1st 2018, Hardy Diagnostics will fully transition from the original format of Carrot Broth to our new One-Step format, which simplifies the procedure by removing the need to add a tile to your workups!
Just like its original format, Carrot Broth One-Step is available in formats compatible with automated equipment. Hardy is offering validation samples at no charge.
Image reference: Van Dyke MK, Phares CR, Lynfield R, et al. Evaluation of Universal Antenatal Screening for Group B Streptococcus . N Eng J Med. 2009;360(25):2626-36.