Journal article

The dynamic nature of group A streptococcal epidemiology in tropical communities with high rates of rheumatic heart disease

MI McDonald, RJ Towers, R Andrews, N Benger, P Fagan, BJ Currie, JR Carapetis

EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2008

Abstract

Prospective surveillance was conducted in three remote Aboriginal communities with high rates of rheumatic heart disease in order to investigate the epidemiology of group A beta-haemolytic streptococci (GAS). At each household visit, participants were asked about sore throat. Swabs were taken from all throats and any skin sores. GAS isolates were emm sequence and pattern-typed using standard laboratory methods. There were 531 household visits; 43 different emm types and subtypes (emmST) were recovered. Four epidemiological patterns were observed. Multiple emmST were present in the population at any one time and household acquisition rates were high. Household acquisition was most commonly vi..

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Grants

Awarded by National Heart Foundation of Australia


Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for the advice and Support of Dr Edward Kaplan (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis) and Dr Bernard Beall (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, Atlanta). We also wish to thank Doreen Jing-Garrarbirra, Lena Djabibba, Ethelrida Dartinga, Hamish Cameron, Melita McKinnon, Palave Dasari, the study families and community health centre staff for their contributions. Murin Air (NT) and Western Pathology provided assistance with transportation of specimens. The study was supported by grants from the National Heart Foundation of Australia (no. PB 02M 0996), the National Health and Medical Research Council (no. ID 251690) and the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health.