Infect Genet Evol 2018 Mar 9. Epub 2018 Mar 9.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Western University, London, Canada; Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Canada. Electronic address:
Streptococcus pyogenes is a human-specific and globally prominent bacterial pathogen that despite causing numerous human infections, this bacterium is normally found in an asymptomatic carrier state. This review provides an overview of both bacterial and human factors that likely play an important role in nasopharyngeal colonization and pharyngitis, as well as the development of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Here we highlight a recently described role for bacterial superantigens in promoting acute nasopharyngeal infection, and discuss how these immune system activating toxins could be crucial to initiate the autoimmune process in rheumatic heart disease. Read More