Thursday, September 14th, 2022 - Perth, Australia: Biotome is part of an international consortium that has been awarded a grant from the Leducq Foundation for the Acute Rheumatic Fever Diagnosis Collaborative Network (ARC Network). The goal of this project is to discover biomarkers that accurately identify patients with acute rheumatic fever.
Acute rheumatic fever [ARF] is a serious complication following a strep throat infection caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. It can be difficult to diagnose because people experience a variety of different symptoms at different stages of the disease.
ARF is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children worldwide. ARF can affect the brain, joints, skin, and the heart. If the heart is involved, ARF can permanently damage the heart valves, resulting in rheumatic heart disease. Recurrent episodes can cause further damage to the heart, making the disease progressively worse over time.
While Group A Streptococcus infection is well substantiated as the initiating event, the contributions of bacterial factors and host responses that lead to the development of rheumatic heart disease are not well understood.
AI interpretation of neutrophils attacking streptococcus bacteria on a mucosal surface (OpenAI / Dalle-2).
“We are excited to be a part of this important project,” said Dr. Samuel Lundin, CEO and founder of Biotome. “The development of accurate diagnostics for acute rheumatic fever would represent a major advance in our ability to prevent and treat this devastating disease.”
The international consortium, led by paediatric cardiologist Andrea Beaton, MD (Cincinnati Children's Hospital), includes research groups from 12 countries distributed on all continents. The collaboration includes Dr. Timothy Barnett and colleagues from the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia.