Rheumatic Fever: A Review on Pathogenesis, Modified Diagnosis and Pharmacotherapy
Rheumatic fever is one of the common causes of acquired heart disease and has been a burden in countries with low income. It is an autoimmune reaction by the body against an infection caused by group A Streptococcus. As a part of the autoimmune response and repeated infection it damages the cardiac valves and nephrons. Presently it is diagnosed by the modified Jones criteria and bacterial culture is essential for its diagnosis. In recurrent cases, patient develops pancarditis apart from chorea and skin nodules. Diagnosis by microbiological culture, bacitracin susceptibility, rapid antigen detection test, streptococcal antibody test, PCR based diagnosis. The bacterial infection is managed by antimicrobials like penicillin, cephalosporins or macrolides. Other problems are managed symptomatically. Secondary prophylaxis with long-term antimicrobials plays a crucial role in curbing the recurrence of this morbid condition. With the development of newer diagnostic techniques like biosensors and Nano sensors, we can expect an early diagnosis and treatment which could further decrease the morbidity, physical and economic burden in the society.
Siddhartha Dutta* and Sudeshna Banerjee