Prevalence of group A Streptococcal infection in Africa to inform GAS vaccines for rheumatic heart disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Dylan D. Barth, Annesinah Moloi, Bongani M. Mayosi, Mark E. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of group A streptococcal (GAS) disease is estimated at >18.1 million cases with an incidence of >1.78 million cases per year. While a significant cause of mortality and morbidity on the global scale, the burden of GAS disease in Africa is unknown. We conducted a systematic review on the prevalence of GAS disease among children and adults in Africa and the frequency and distribution of emm types among isolates. Methods: We performed a comprehensive literature search in a number of databases, using an African search filter. Two reviewers independently selected articles meeting pre-specified criteria and extracted relevant data as per a data extraction form. We applied the random-effects meta-analysis model to aggregate GAS prevalence estimates with 95% CI for GAS prevalence, incorporating the Freeman-Tukey transformation to account for between-study variability. Results: Twenty-five studies were included. Invasive GAS disease prevalence ranged from 0.6% to 10.8% in samples from normally-sterile sites including blood, CSF and soft tissue. A single study reported a prevalence of 74% in skin infections. Prevalence of emm types varied with up to 88 different strains reported, corresponding to a vaccine coverage of 28% to 65%. The pooled prevalence of GAS in persons presenting with pharyngitis was 21% (95% CI, 17% to 26%). Conclusions: The prevalence of GAS remains high among symptomatic individuals residing in Africa. Data on molecular strain characterisation of GAS in Africa is largely non-existent, thus the need for further studies is warranted to inform current prevention efforts including vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2019

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