Study Sheds Light on Why Some Kids Get Recurrent Strep Throat

Doctors may be one step closer to solving the mystery of why some children develop recurrent strep throat, a painful sore throat if left untreated that can lead to infectious skin ulcers, kidney problems and rheumatic heart disease.

new Research published in February 2019 in the journal Translational Medicine Sciences He found that both genetics and poor immune responses may be a reason why some children will tolerate recurrent bouts of the bacteria while others may never have it. Discovering the causes of this infection could bring researchers closer to developing a vaccine for group A streptococci, the most common type of streptococci, which infects more than 600 million people each year.

to test the theory, Jennifer Dunn, MD, PhDOne of the study authors and an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health examined the surgically removed tonsils of 65 children: 26 had their tonsils removed due to repeated episodes of tonsillitis, and 39 were removed for an unrelated condition, such as sleep apnea.

Dr. Dunn and colleagues found that children who had their tonsils removed due to recurrent infections had smaller germ centers in the tonsils. Germinal centers live inside the lymph nodes and help produce antibodies, which are special proteins that fight infection. The antibodies recognize and inactivate the bacteria, and usually should be able to clear the infection before it strikes again.

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