Background: The incidence of perinatal, early-onset Group B streptococcal sepsis is very low in Israel and there are no local guidelines for prevention of the disease.
Objectives: To determine to what extent the current Centers for Disease Control guidelines are practiced in Israel, the reasons for their adoption or rejection, and the need for local official guidelines.
Methods: A telephone questionnaire was conducted of all 27 delivery units in Israel. Answers were obtained from 26, either from the clinical director or the senior obstetrician in charge at the time of the interview.
Results: Only in 2 of the 26 delivery units (8%) are the CDC guidelines adhered to exactly; in 6 units they are deliberately rejected, and in 8 units they are not practiced, although they are allegedly implemented. Thus, the CDC guidelines are not practiced in 14 delivery units (54%). Medico-legal consideration is the sole or major reason for adopting these guidelines in 80% (16/20) of the delivery units where they are seemingly implemented. In the majority of these units (18/20) there is readiness to abandon current practice, should local guidelines differ from those of the CDC, provided that local guidelines are issued by an authoritative source.
Conclusion: CDC guidelines are either deliberately rejected or incorrectly practiced in most Israeli delivery units. The medico-legal argument is one of the main reasons for practicing these guidelines. Since the CDC guidelines probably do not apply in Israel, official local guidelines are urgently needed.
 CDC = Centers for Disease Control