NICE has developed a medtech innovation briefing (MIB) on Xpert GBS test for the intrapartum detection of group B streptococcus.

The Xpert GBS test detects group B streptococcus (GBS) colonisation in pregnant women, using rectal and vaginal swabs. One randomised controlled trial reported a sensitivity of 89% and a reduction in intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis. Seven diagnostic accuracy studies reported that Xpert GBS has good sensitivity. The Xpert GBS test is run on the GeneXpert molecular diagnostic system and each test costs £38.80.

In current NHS practice, antibiotic prophylaxis is offered based on clinical risk factors without routine testing. If a rapid and effective test to detect GBS colonisation were adopted, it could reduce use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in line with antibiotic stewardship guidelines.

Their purpose is to provide objective information on device and diagnostic technologies to aid local decision-making by clinicians, managers and procurement professionals. By making this information available, NICE helps to avoid the need for NHS organisations to produce similar information for local use.

Medtech innovation briefings are not NICE guidance. They differ in format, contain no judgement on the value of the technology and do not constitute a guidance recommendation.

MIBs are commissioned by NHS England and produced in support of the NHS 5 Year Forward View, specifically as one of a number of steps which will accelerate innovation in new treatments and diagnostics.