Their efforts, according to a statement on the MSU website, have established the baseline of colonisation and transmission frequencies of Group B Streptococcus in Nigeria.
It says that in Nigeria, the lack of infant screening has led to high infant mortality.
Medugu and Manning, a professor of microbiology and genetics, have identified new risk factors that allow doctors to treat more women and infants at risk.
“Nigeria has one of the highest rates of mortality of pregnant mothers. GBS and other pathogens contribute to these deaths.
“GBS can cause stillbirth, premature birth and, after the baby is born, it can cause meningitis and sepsis,” Manning was quoted as saying.
It was stated that when Medugu began her residency programme, it was common knowledge that GBS was the most common cause of sepsis in infants worldwide, but she never saw a case during her early medical training in her home country, Nigeria.
“I hypothesized that the lack of active surveillance and poor laboratory methods might be the reason as to why we weren’t detecting cases,” Medugu said, adding,
According to the report, Medugu agreed to do the legwork while Manning supervised the lab work.
It said the Nigerian doctor collected all the necessary samples from 500 women and infants from four different hospitals while completing her residency and raising her three children. The samples were sent to MSU to be examined.
“The partnership proved successful. Medugu finished her dissertation and the scientists navigated the necessary steps to publish a peer-reviewed paper, which showed that 34 per cent of mothers and 19 per cent of their newborns were colonised with GBS with 1 of the 500 babies developing the disease.
“This is a sharp contrast to the United States, where a pregnant woman who receives standard antibiotics has only a 1 in 4,000 chance of delivering a baby infected with GBS,” the statement read.
On the outcome, Manning was quoted as saying,
“This study has been one of the principal drivers of infection prevention and control programmes that have drastically reduced infant mortality.