Preferred Sample Type

Bacteriological screening for GBS (Group B Streptococci)

Turnaround Time

5 days

Sample Stability

Transport to the laboratory as soon as possible.
Store at 2-8 C if there is any delay in transport.

Bacteriological screening for GBS (Group B Streptococci)

General Information

This is a referred test which is sent to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. This test should only be requested for pregnant ladies when the following criteria are met:
1.GBS was detected in a previous pregnancy 2.The option of Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis or bacteriological screening for GBS has been discussed with the patient. 3.The patient has chosen to have bacteriological screening for GBS.
This is in accordance with National Guidelines (Hughes et al, Green-top Guideline No. 36. BJOG 2017; 124:e280-e305). Please note that universal routine GBS screening is late pregnancy is not available, as per National recommendations.

Patient Preparation

 A single swab taken from the vagina and then anorectum using a pink topped Copan Eswab.

Bacteriological screening for GBS should be undertaken at 35-37 weeks of gestation or 3-5 weeks prior to the anticipated delivery date, e.g. 32-34 weeks of gestation for women with twins.



  • EQA Scheme?: No

The laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital form part of the services provided by University Hospitals Birmingham and are UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited to the ISO 15189:2012 standard. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the UKAS website using the following link:

  • Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital pathology laboratories are a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8217
  • United Kingdom Health Security Agency laboratory is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8213

Tests not appearing on the UKAS Schedule of Accreditation currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further test information, please visit the test database:

Protection of personal information - Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and its employees to comply with the Data Protection act  1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235