Serological study in patients with streptococcal endocarditis

Anna Maria Planes, Begoña Bermejo, María Pilar Tornos, Francisco Fernández, Lluis Arcalís

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BACKGROUND: Infective endocarditis is a systemic disease in which there are a continuously antigenic stimulation of immunologic system. Streptococcus is still the most frequent cause of infective endocarditis. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We investigated the presence of antibody (AB), total and IgM by indirect immune fluorescence technique, in four groups of population: streptococcal infective endocarditis (SIE), streptococcal bacteraemia (SB), Staphylococcus aureus endocarditis, and healthy people. Antigens used were: 1) their own strain isolated from the blood of patients with SIE and SB (homologous AB), and; 2) seven species of Streptococcus: Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus salivarius, Streptococcus bovis, Streptococcus sanguis I, Streptococcus sanguis II, nutritional dependent streptococci and Enterococcus faecalis (heterologous AB). RESULTS: Homologous antibodies: titers > 1/512 were found in all patients with SIE and only in 2 with SB (sensitivity 100% and specificity 93%). IgM titer (threshold 1/32) was positive only in patients with SIE (sensitivity 75,5% and specificity 100%). The fall of the AB titer was continuous and slow, despite the good clinical evolution of patients. (AB titers were > 1/512 and IgM > 1/64 in 30% of patients 1 year later). Heterologous AB: in spite of statistically significant difference found in SIE versus the other groups, sensitivity of this test (threshold 1/256) is low, confidence interval include expected random value (50%), specificity is 88%. CONCLUSIONS: The utility of homologous AB for diagnosing infective endocarditis is demonstrated. On the contrary for heterologous AB, antigenic common fractions must be found in the different species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-697
JournalMedicina Clinica
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 1996


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