Comparison of BD MAX GBS and GenomEra GBS Assays for Rapid Intrapartum PCR Detection of Vaginal Carriage of Group B Streptococci

To compare the diagnostic performance of BD MAX and GenomEra PCR assays for a rapid PCR detection of vaginal carriage of group B streptococci at delivery.
This is a retrospective laboratory analysis of vaginal swab samples taken intrapartum from a randomly selected cohort of pregnant women giving birth at a single childbirth and maternity unit.
Ninety-one culture-positive and 279 culture-negative vaginal samples were included from a cohort of 902 women. One-hundred-and-two specimens were found positive with the BD MAX and 84 with the GenomEra PCR assay. No statistically significant difference was observed compared to culture, sensitivity of BD MAX 84.6% (77/91) [95%CI 75.5–91.3] and of GenomEra 71.4% (65/91) [95%CI 61.0–80.4]. When compared to a combined reference standard, no statistically significant differences were seen between culture, BD MAX and GenomEra PCR assays. The sensitivities were 82.7% (91/110) [95%CI 74.3–89.3], 87.3% (96/110) [95%CI 79.6–92.9], and 79.1% (87/110) [95%CI 70.3–86.3], respectively.
Both PCR assays performed comparably to culture of the intrapartum vaginal samples. In particular, the GenomEra assay is potentially an easy and rapid on-site PCR test for intrapartum detection of vaginal carriage of group B streptococci at a maternity ward to identify women who should receive intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis.