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Acute rheumatic fever and streptococci: the quintessential pathogenic trigger of autoimmunity

Authors
  • Chakravarty, Soumya D.1
  • Zabriskie, John B.2
  • Gibofsky, Allan1
  • 1 New York Presbyterian Hospital—Weill Cornell Medical Center, Division of Rheumatology, Hospital for Special Surgery and Department of Medicine, 535 E. 70th St, New York, NY, USA , New York (United States)
  • 2 Rockefeller University, Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, New York, NY, 10021, USA , New York (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical Rheumatology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jun 04, 2014
Volume
33
Issue
7
Pages
893–901
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10067-014-2698-8
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is a non-suppurative complication of pharyngeal infection with group A streptococcus. Signs and symptoms of ARF develop 2 to 3 weeks following pharyngitis and include arthritis, carditis, chorea, subcutaneous nodules, and erythema marginatum. In developing areas of the world, ARF and rheumatic heart disease are estimated to affect nearly 20 million people and remain leading causes of cardiovascular death during the first five decades of life. ARF still represents one of the quintessential examples of a pathogenic trigger culminating in autoimmune manifestations. In this review, we will focus on the pathogenesis and etiology of ARF and its complications, along with diagnostic and treatment approaches to both ameliorate and prevent long-term sequelae of this potentially debilitating disease.

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