Cross-sectional study of population-specific streptococcal antibody titres in Uganda

Emmy Okello, Meghna Murali, Joselyn Rwebembera, Jenifer Atala, Asha C. Bowen, Nada Harik, Gloria Kaudha, Samalie Kitooleko, Chris Longenecker, Emma Ndagire, Isaac Otim Omara, Linda Mary Oyella, Tom Parks, Jafesi Pulle, Craig Sable, Rachel Sarnacki, Elizabeth Stein, Meghan Zimmerman, Nicholas de Klerk, Jonathan CarapetisAndrea Beaton

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OBJECTIVE: Despite substantial variation of streptococcal antibody titres among global populations, there is no data on normal values in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this study was to establish normal values for antistreptolysin O (ASO) and antideoxyribonuclease B (ADB) antibodies in Uganda. DESIGN: This was an observational cross-sectional study. SETTING: This study was conducted at Mulago National Referral Hospital, which is located in the capital city, Kampala, and includes the Uganda Heart Institute. PATIENTS: Participants (aged 0-50 years) were recruited. Of 428 participants, 22 were excluded from analysis, and 183 (44.4%) of the remaining were children aged 5-15 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: ASO was measured in-country by nephelometric technique. ADB samples were sent to Australia (PathWest) for analysis by enzyme inhibition assay: 80% upper limit values were established. RESULTS: The median ASO titre in this age group was 220 IU/mL, with the 80th percentile value of 389 IU/mL. The median ADB titre in this age group was 375 IU/mL, with the 80th percentile value of 568 IU/mL. CONCLUSIONS: The estimated Ugandan paediatric population standardised 80% upper-limit-of-normal ASO and ADB titres is higher than many global populations. Appropriateness of using population-specific antibody cutoffs is yet to be determined and has important implications for the sensitivity and specificity of rheumatic fever diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-829
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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    Okello, E., Murali, M., Rwebembera, J., Atala, J., Bowen, A. C., Harik, N., Kaudha, G., Kitooleko, S., Longenecker, C., Ndagire, E., Omara, I. O., Oyella, L. M., Parks, T., Pulle, J., Sable, C., Sarnacki, R., Stein, E., Zimmerman, M., de Klerk, N., ... Beaton, A. (2020). Cross-sectional study of population-specific streptococcal antibody titres in Uganda. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 105(9), 825-829.