Group B Streptococcus Remain Significant Threat to US Infants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Nanduri Srinivas Acharya, MBBS, MD, MPH Respiratory Diseases Branch, National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Roybal Campus Atlanta, GA 30333

Dr. Nanduri

Dr. Srinivas Acharya Nanduri, MBBS, MD, MPH
Respiratory Diseases Branch, National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Roybal Campus
Atlanta, GA 3033

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of serious illness such as meningitis and sepsis in infants. Among infants, there are two main types of GBS disease. Early-onset GBS disease occurs during the first week of life and late-onset GBS disease occurs from the first week through three months of life. Rates of early-onset disease in the United States have decreased significantly since the 1990s through widespread implementation of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) guidelines. However, IAP does not prevent late-onset disease. Maternal immunization represents a nonantibiotic strategy to prevent both early and late-onset disease. Multivalent polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines are under development against GBS capsular types, with candidate vaccines in phase I and II trials.

Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) conducts active surveillance for early and late-onset GBS disease among infants in select counties of 10 states, covering about 10% of live births across the United States. We analyzed data from early and late-onset GBS cases identified from ABCs between 2006 and 2015 to describe their epidemiology, incidence trends, and associated strain characteristics. Continue reading

Could a Strep Throat Increase Risk of OCD?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sonja Orlovska MD, PhD student

Mental Health Centre Copenhagen
Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This Danish register-based study is the largest study so far investigating the hypothesis PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections) which describes a possible link between streptococcal throat infection and the subsequent development of OCD and tic disorders in children. PANDAS is in thread with research in mental health in recent years, suggesting that infections and immune activation might increase the risk of mental disorders.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Out of the 1,1 million individuals <18 years of age born in the study period, we found that the 349,982 individuals tested positive for a streptococcal throat infection by their GP had an increased risk of mental disorders by 18% and the risk of specifically OCD and tic disorders was increased with respectively 51% and 35%, compared to individuals who had never been tested. This seems to confirm PANDAS which speaks in favor of a specific link between strep throat and the development of OCD and tic disorders. However, we also found that non-streptococcal throat infection increased the risk of mental disorders, even though the risk of OCD and all mental disorders was larger after a strep throat. The study was performed at the Mental Health Centre Copenhagen together with Senior researcher Michael Eriksen Benros.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our results indicate that the brain might be affected by the immunological activation caused by a streptococcal infection possibly due to streptococcal antibodies cross-reacting with brain tissue causing psychiatric symptoms which is the theory of PANDAS. However, it seems as if the immunological response caused by other types of throat infections might also have a damaging effect in some individuals. Nevertheless, it cannot be ruled out that the results to some extent might be driven by a medical care-seeking behavior in some parents bringing their child to the GP more often in spite of only few symptoms of throat infection leading to testing for strep throat and also more frequent examination and diagnosis by a psychiatrist.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Even though our study supports some elements of the PANDAS hypothesis, more research is needed to fully confirm PANDAS. The research field would benefit from larger clinical studies following children with PANDAS over a longer period of time with frequent follow-ups in order to establish if streptococcal throat infections cause and worsen neuropsychiatric symptoms of OCD and tic disorders.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Orlovska S, Vestergaard CH, Bech BH, Nordentoft M, Vestergaard M, Benros ME. Association of Streptococcal Throat Infection With Mental DisordersTesting Key Aspects of the PANDAS Hypothesis in a Nationwide Study. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 24, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.0995

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More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com

Fusobacterium Pharyngitis May Be As Serious As Strep Throat

Robert M Centor, MD, MACP Chair ACP Board of Regents Regional Dean, UAB Huntsville Regional Medical Campus Huntsville, AL 35801 Professor, General Internal Medicine UAB Birmingham, AL 35294-3407MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Robert M Centor, MD, MACP
Chair ACP Board of Regents
Regional Dean, UAB Huntsville Regional Medical Campus
Huntsville, AL 35801
Professor, General Internal Medicine
UAB Birmingham, AL 35294-3407

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Centor: European researchers have shown that Fusobacterium necrophorum, an obligate gram-negative anaerobe, likely causes approximately 10% of young adult pharyngitis.  This same organism is the major cause of peritonsillar abscess in the age group (and this age group has the highest rate of peritonsillar abscess).  The organism also causes around 80% of the Lemierre Syndrome.  We knew of no US data evaluating the role of this bacteria as a cause of pharyngitis.  The European studies also did not report the signs and symptoms of Fusobacterium pharyngitis. Continue reading