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.
|Publication status||Published - 23 Nov 1996|