A new antibiotic that prevents serious infection in newborn babies is being tested at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

The drug Ceftriaxone, produced by Roche, attacks group B streptococcus.A swab is used to collect a sample from the area of the birth canal. Twenty minutes later, the results of a test for the infection are available. If the mother is infected, the drug is injected into her. It enters the baby from the mother's bloodstream.

The procedure has been effective in stopping the infection from getting to the baby, said pathologist Steve Freestone. "Some studies show that as many as one in every 250 babies is born infected.

"It is a relatively new antibiotic that has only been around for a couple of years," Freestone said.

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center is the only hospital in the world currently doing research and testing Ceftriaxone. Freestone said hospitals around the world are sending their infectious samples to Utah Valley Medical Center to be tested.