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Volunteers wanted for new medical study to help protect babies  

06 Jun 2023 - Press Release


Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s Research and Innovation team are asking for parents of young babies to volunteer for a new medical study which will help protect infants in the future.

The team, based at Stepping Hill Hospital, are working with the maternity department to take part in the national IGBS3 study into women’s natural immunity against Group B Streptococcus (GBS). The aim is to find out how much antibody a woman needs in her blood to protect her baby from getting GBS.

GBS is a major cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns and can cause premature births and stillbirths as well as infections in pregnant women. It is normally carried in in the vagina and gut and may cause harm when it passes from mother to baby around the time of birth. It is estimated GBS claims around 150,000 babies’ lives a year worldwide.

The aim of the study is to help develop a vaccine which could help save the lives of thousands babies across the world.

The team are asking to collect a small sample of blood from the cord after your baby has been born, so that it can be checked for antibodies. There is no risk or inconvenience to either the mother or the baby in doing this.

The process is voluntary, and anyone who does not want to give these samples can refuse at any time and no samples will be taken. Also, if you change your mind later, the samples collected can be discarded.

Dr Chris Cooper, Paediatric Consultant and Principle Investigator for the study at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said “IGBS3 is a very important study, and we’re proud to be taking part in it. A vaccine against GBS has been developed and is currently being tested, but we still need to know the level of antibodies needed for it to be work. If effective this could be offered to pregnant women to protect their babies from this devastating disease. We want as many parents of newborns to take part as possible. There is no risk or inconvenience at all to your or your baby, and we could help to save many thousands of lives in the future.”

If you are an expectant parent and want to take part in the study you can speak to your midwife at Stepping Hill Hospital or in the community, or you can contact the research team by calling 0161 419 5893 or by e-mailing daisy.pegler@stockport.nhs.uk to find out more. You can also find out more at the study website - https://www.gbsatstgeorges.co.uk/igbs3





The research team (with Dr Chris Cooper second left) are ready for volunteers

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