The strain of streptococcus agalactiae is native to the female urogenital tract and rectum and can behave in various manners depending on the conditions of the body in which it is currently residing. In the western world, streptococcus agalactiae is one of the most common infections that can harm newborns. This condition is very difficult to control because the normal body flora of microbial life has this strain of streptococcus agalactiae occurring naturally in the body. It is important to look into the possible options to treat the infection and detect it before it is too late.
Who Can Get Streptococcus Agalactiae?
The following includes the list of people who are susceptible to steptococcus agalactiae:
- newborns can get afflicted with streptococcus agalactiae
- Others who are susceptible to infections of streptococcus agalactiae that are irregular are those with immunodeficiency. This deficiency can be caused virally (HIV or AIDS) or through decreases in body defenses due to medications or treatments for other afflictions such as cancer
Adults who are affected by the streptococcus agalactiae have many options to help treat the problems and complications caused by it as long as they manage to detect it on time.
The Symptoms of Streptococcus Agalactiae
In children, specifically newborns, streptococcus agalactiae can have a wide range of damaging effects. The following symptoms maybe detected in newborns with an advanced infection of streptococcus agalactiae:
fever – Fever can be seen in many of the newborns affected by streptococcus agalactiae infection and can be very difficult to manage, especially when the parents or doctors do not understand the root cause of the infection causing the fever.
vomiting – Vomiting is almost always overlooked as babies vomit all of the time. This is especially true of newborns as their bodies begin to adjust to the outside world and to the introduction of external food and forces. This is not a reliable indicator as the vomit looks the same, especially when the baby is fed with breast milk and formula.
irritability – Irritability is always something that is attributed to newborns who simply scream for attention. However, the streptococcus agalactiae infection can cause extreme irritability. Often, parents neglect these babies as they simply cannot deal with the infant because of the frequent bouts of irritability.
Sepsis – Sepsis is an inflammation caused all over the body due to the infection of streptococcus agalactiae. This is possible because the streptococcus agalactiae can severely irritate the baby’s body and can make them balloon, similar to them suffering from an allergic reaction. This can be very dangerous and all of the other symptoms of streptococcus agalactiae can be present as well.
hearing loss – One of the adverse complications of streptococcus agalactiae in newborns is the loss of hearing due to the infection occurring in the ear canals. This infection can make the newborns look and feel like they may have a neurological disorder when it is really the infection of streptococcus agalactiae. This is why it must not be overlooked and tests should be done in these newborns when the likelihood of the streptococcus agalactiae infection is greater in certain women.
death – Sudden death of an infant due to streptococcus agalactiae is possible if they are born with a very weak immune system. Death can also occur in the newborns suffering from advanced progression of the disease when it is not detected on time. It can make the children get very ill and die simply because their bodies are not meant to cope with an infection as soon as they are born.
In Adults, the problem can progress to causing severe damages to the body and organs if it is not effectively treated. When an adult is affected by streptococcus agalactiae for any reason, they are likely to feel and experience any of the symptoms that a child can experience, apart from those which are possible with other streptococcus infections. Some of these symptoms such as scarlet fever, can lead to more serious conditions. The infection can have a wide range of non-specific symptoms that may seem like something else. The elderly can be very susceptible to the infection of streptococcus agalactiae if they are not careful with their own hygiene.
Screening for Streptococcus Agalactiae
Screening is not usually done for this type of streptococcus agalactiae. In fact, many countries do not know it is a risk for their newborns and adults. The countries that are aware of streptococcus agalactiae may possibly take some risk-based precautions to select mothers who would receive treatments to prevent giving the infection to their newborns.
Treatment Options for Streptococcus Agalactiae
Treatment Options for Babies
Treatments for a baby who is afflicted with the infection includes giving a special course of antibiotics to help the baby get rid of the infection. If the disease goes untreated, the newborn may face the possibility of death or severe damages to his / her body that can lead to a very short life span, with death within the first five years of life or less. This can usually be prevented if streptococcus agalactiae is detected early by noticing the symptoms in newborns that have the infection.
Treatment for Adults
When women get treatment before live birth, they are usually administered an antibiotic treatment to reduce the likelihood that the streptococcus agalactiae would be viable, once the process of giving birth is complete. The process of taking advantage of this option for many pregnant mothers is determined by doctors that know the risks of the disease if not treated before birth to prevent the spread of streptococcus agalactiae. Many doctors may not even know that streptococcus agalactiae is possible for women in specific risk groups.
Adults that find themselves infected with streptococcus agalactiae may have a hard time treating the infection as this probably means that their immune system is not working as promptly as it should. It is important to look into the available treatments in antibiotics to help prevent serious damages to their bodies. Usually, an adult will make a full recovery, provided that they do not get secondary infections that make even worse complications to deal with. The elderly are more likely to get the infection if they do not take proper steps to ensure their personal hygiene.
Patient Outlook for Streptococcus Agalactiae
Newborns are more likely to suffer the worst case scenario of death, but if streptococcus agalactiae is detected on time, they can live a long and healthy life, provided they take care of themselves. The older patients with the streptococcus agalactiae infection do not need to worry as in most cases, their bodies are more than likely to be able to hold up against the infection long enough to begin using various treatments to relieve themselves of the infection. Those who do not treat the infection may possibly be able to overcome it naturally with a healthy lifestyle but it may cause a severe illness that can affect them greatly.