1887

Abstract

Group A streptococci can trigger autoimmune responses that lead to acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

Some autoantibodies generated in ARF/RHD target antigens in the S2 subfragment region of cardiac myosin. However, little is known about the kinetics of these antibodies during the disease process.

To determine the antibody responses over time in patients and healthy controls against host tissue proteins - cardiac myosin and peptides from its S2 subfragment, tropomyosin, laminin and keratin.

We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to determine antibody responses in: (1) healthy controls; (2) patients with streptococcal pharyngitis; (3) patients with ARF with carditis and (4) patients with RHD on penicillin prophylaxis.

We observed significantly higher antibody responses against extracellular proteins - laminin and keratin in pharyngitis group, patients with ARF and patients with RHD when compared to healthy controls. The antibody responses against intracellular proteins - cardiac myosin and tropomyosin were elevated only in the group of patients with ARF with active carditis. While the reactivity to S2 peptides S2-1-3, 8–11, 14, 16–18, 21–22 and 32 was higher in patients with ARF, the reactivity in the RHD group was high only against S2-1, 9, 11, 12 when compared to healthy controls. The reactivity against S2 peptides reduced as the disease condition stabilized in the ARF group whereas the reactivity remained unaltered in the RHD group. By contrast antibodies against laminin and keratin persisted in patients with RHD.

Our findings of antibody responses against host proteins support the multistep hypothesis in the development of rheumatic carditis. The differential kinetics of serum antibody responses against S2 peptides may have potential use as markers of ongoing cardiac damage that can be used to monitor patients with ARF/RHD.

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2021-05-06
2022-01-24
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