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      Acute rheumatic fever and its consequences: A persistent threat to developing nations in the 21st century

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      Autoimmunity Reviews

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is an autoimmune, multi-system response secondary to molecular mimicry following Lancefield group A streptococcus (GAS) pharyngitis; it is now most commonly found in the pediatric populations of developing nations. The major source of morbidity and mortality of ARF stems from rheumatic heart disease (RHD), although the cardinal symptoms of the disease also include polyarthritis, Sydenham's chorea, subcutaneous nodules, and erythema marginatum. Therapy is aimed towards treating the initial GAS infection, using anti-inflammatory medications for acute symptoms and surgery to correct RHD. Secondary prevention is crucial, given the high risk of recurrence, and includes long-term antibiotic prophylaxis. However, vaccination towards GAS may soon be on the horizon, which may assist in both decreasing the risk of initial infection in naïve patients and helping to lower the risk of recurrence.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Autoimmunity Reviews
          Autoimmunity Reviews
          Elsevier BV
          15689972
          December 2009
          December 2009
          : 9
          : 2
          : 117-123
          Article
          10.1016/j.autrev.2009.04.002
          19386288
          cc8460b9-a7fc-4e46-ae84-bd57f75291a4
          © 2009

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