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Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease result from an autoimmune process, in which the immune response against S. pyogenes antigens triggers an autoimmune reaction causing damage to various proteins in the heart tissue. Rheumatic fever is a common disease in middle- and low-income countries. Indeed, the ...

Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease result from an autoimmune process, in which the immune response against S. pyogenes antigens triggers an autoimmune reaction causing damage to various proteins in the heart tissue. Rheumatic fever is a common disease in middle- and low-income countries. Indeed, the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease is high in Africa, Latin America and some areas of Oceania and Southeast Asia. In these countries, rheumatic fever is the main etiology of acquired valvular heart disease, causing significant morbidity, mortality and considerable costs to the healthcare system as patients frequently require cardiac surgery and other high complexity procedures.

Hence, it is paramount that we update the ever-changing clinical features of rheumatic fever – as the disease has different manifestations over time – with a low incidence of clinical manifestations of acute rheumatic fever and the growing incidence of asymptomatic subclinical carditis, which is a diagnostic challenge in a population with scarce access to healthcare.

We aim to amass the current epidemiology, clinical experience in basic science, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of rheumatic fever, including its most common manifestations – symptomatic and asymptomatic carditis and rheumatic heart disease.

The objectives of this research topic include the following:
1) Reviewing the global epidemiology of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.
2) Reviewing the clinical manifestations and natural history of rheumatic heart disease.
3) Updating the current knowledge in rheumatic fever genetics and pathophysiology.
4) Perspectives in the development of a vaccine against rheumatic fever.
5) Re-evaluation of the current recommendations of RF treatment, such as therapeutics for acute rheumatic carditis and secondary prophylaxis.

We are interested in articles about epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, primary and secondary prophylaxis of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, and vaccine candidates for Group A Streptococcus. We encourage authors and research groups from different countries and backgrounds to submit their research to encompass a wider diversity of realities and clinical experiences. Formats include review articles, original research, meta-analysis and clinical case presentations.

Keywords: Rheumatic Heart Disease, Rheumatic Fever, Immunopathology, Genetic susceptibility, Vaccine for Rheumatic Fever, Acute Rheumatic Carditis, Secondary Prophylaxis


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