Group B strep usually causes no signs or symptoms in healthy, nonpregnant adults, according to Mayo Clinic. The bacterium lives naturally in the throat, bladder, rectum, vagina and bowel, and those infected remain asymptomatic.
In some adults with group B strep, infection may develop in the bone and joints, or infected persons may develop urinary tract infections and pneumonia or lung infections, explains MedicineNet. Group B strep may also cause sepsis or bloodstream infection. Although rare, meningitis, which is an infection of the lining and fluid of the brain tissue, may occur.
Pregnant women with group B strep may experience additional problems, notes MedicineNet. Pregnant women with the condition are at heightened risk for preterm delivery, miscarriage and stillbirth. Other complications sometimes seen among pregnant women with group B strep include infections in the placenta and uterus.
Group B strep is a common type of bacterium normally carried in the lower GI tract or intestines, states Mayo Clinic. Typically, the bacterium presents little or no problems in adults, although it can be quite serious when transferred via pregnant mothers to their babies. Doctors screen pregnant women for the bacterium in the final trimesters of their pregnancies. If the bacterium is present, doctors give infected mothers antibiotics during labor to reduce the possibility of transmission to their babies.