OBJECTIVES: To determine if maternal intrapartum group B Streptococcus (GBS) antibiotic prophylaxis is associated with increased risk of childhood asthma, eczema, food allergy, or allergic rhinitis.
METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of 14 046 children. GBS prophylaxis was defined as administration of intravenous penicillin, ampicillin, cefazolin, clindamycin, or vancomycin to the mother, ≥4 hours before delivery. Composite primary outcome was asthma, eczema, or food allergy diagnosis within 5 years of age, identified by diagnosis codes and appropriate medication prescription. Allergic rhinitis was defined by using diagnostic codes only and analyzed as a separate outcome. Analysis was a priori stratified by delivery mode and conducted by using Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for multiple confounders and covariates. Secondary analyses, restricted to children retained in cohort at 5 years’ age, were conducted by using multivariate logistic regression.
RESULTS: GBS prophylaxis was not associated with increased incidence of composite outcome among infants delivered vaginally (hazard ratio: 1.13, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.95–1.33) or by cesarean delivery (hazard ratio: 1.08, 95% CI: 0.88–1.32). At 5 years of age, among 10 404 children retained in the study, GBS prophylaxis was not associated with the composite outcome in vaginal (odds ratio: 1.21, 95% CI: 0.96–1.52) or cesarean delivery (odds ratio: 1.17, 95% CI: 0.88–1.56) cohorts. Outcomes of asthma, eczema, food allergy, separately, and allergic rhinitis were also not associated with GBS prophylaxis.
CONCLUSIONS: Intrapartum GBS prophylaxis was not associated with subsequent diagnosis of asthma, eczema, food allergy, or allergic rhinitis in the first 5 years of age.