The role of viral agents in aetiopathogenesis of acute rheumatic fever

Olgunturk R., OKUR İ., Cirak M. Y., OĞUZ A. D., Akalin N., Turet S., ...More

CLINICAL RHEUMATOLOGY, vol.30, no.1, pp.15-20, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10067-010-1447-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-20
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


The reason why abnormal immune response exists in acute rheumatic fever is not exactly explained. The influence of co-pathogens like certain viruses were mentioned regarding the initiation of the immunological reaction in acute rheumatic fever patients by several authors since 1970. This study was designed to find the role or effect of some viral infections in the development of rheumatic fever. In this study, 47 cases with acute rheumatic fever (acute rheumatic arthritis, acute rheumatic carditis, and chorea), 20 cases with chronic rheumatic fever, 20 cases with streptococcal pharyngitis, and 20 healthy age- and gender-matched control cases were involved. Serological and molecular tests were made including hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, rubella virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV group 1), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). HBsAg, rubella IgM and EBV IgM positivity were not seen in any of patients with rheumatic fever. Although antiHBs seropositivity was higher in the control group, it was not statistically significant (p>0.05). There was no difference in rubella IgG, HSV IgM seropositivity, either (p>0.05). EBV DNA was searched by the polymerase chain reaction technique; due to the latent nature of the virus, no significant difference was found between the control group and the other groups (p>0.05). In this study, no positive correlation could be found to support the synergism theories regarding the streptoccocus infection and viral infections in the development of acute rheumatic fever. Only EBV DNA positivity was found in all acute rheumatic fever cases but not in the control group may lead to further studies with larger series of patients.