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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 176-183

Molecular biology of Group A Streptococcus and its implications in vaccine strategies

Director, Research and Training, Microbiological Laboratory, R. S. Puram, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
N K Brahmadathan
Microbiological Laboratory, 12A Cowley Brown Road, R.S. Puram, Coimbatore - 641 002, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_17_16

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Infections due to Streptococcus pyogenes and their complications are a problem of major concern in many countries, including India. Primary prophylaxis with benzathine penicillin is the key to control and prevent sequelae such as acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease (RF/RHD) or post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN). Non-compliance to prophylaxis due to fear of injection and anaphylaxis is major issues in RF/RHD control in India and leads to continued high prevalence of infection and post-streptococcal sequelae. Differing reports on the efficacy of two weekly, three weekly or monthly injections raise questions on the actual dosages to be administered. Availability of more effective antibiotics with better dosages has replaced the use of penicillin; hence, companies are reluctant to manufacture penicillin preparations in India. It is in this context that a concept of a Group A streptococci vaccine is looked at and whether or not a globally designed vaccine will be useful in the Indian context. Modern molecular techniques and genomic analysis of S. pyogenes have identified many molecules as vaccine candidates among which the M-protein has attracted the most attention. High diversity of M (emm) types in endemic regions raises questions about the efficacy of such a vaccine. A recent 30-valent M-protein-based vaccine that elicits antibodies to homologous as well as non-vaccine M types looks promising. This review will discuss the genomics of S. pyogenes, the various candidate vaccine molecules and highlight their efficacy in the Indian context where control of post-streptococcal sequelae remains a challenge.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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