The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the clinical spectrum of group B streptococcal (GBS) bacteraemia in patients over 70 years old. Sixty-six adults with GBS bacteraemia were reviewed over a 5-year period. Disease characteristics, clinical diagnoses and underlying disease were compared in 33 older patients (mean age 82.4 years) and 33 younger patients (mean age 54.2 years). The older patients were also compared with a control group (mean age 81.3 years). Urinary tract infection (39%), skin infection (33%) and pneumonia (24%) were the most frequent clinical diagnoses in older patients. Urinary tract infection (39% 6%) was significantly more frequent in older than in younger patients. One underlying disease and one condition were more frequent in elderly patients: congestive heart failure (39% 6%) and being bedridden (36% 0%). A comparison with the older control group showed that being bedridden was highly associated with GBS bacteraemia and was an important mortality factor amongst older patients (10% 30%). In conclusion, GBS disease in the elderly was found to be a severe clinical problem with a high mortality despite appropriate treatment.


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