Original Publication Date: >1 February, 2016
Publication / Source: Future Neurology
Authors: Tyler Cutforth, Mellissa MC DeMille, Ilir Agalliu & Dritan Agalliu
Streptococcus pyogenes infections have been associated with two autoimmune diseases of the CNS: Sydenham’s chorea (SC) and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus infections (PANDAS). Despite the high frequency of pharyngeal streptococcus infections among children, only a small fraction develops SC or PANDAS. This suggests that several factors in combination are necessary to trigger autoimmune complications: specific S. pyogenes strains that induce a strong immune response toward the host nervous system; genetic susceptibility that predispose children toward an autoimmune response involving movement or tic symptoms; and multiple infections of the throat or tonsils that lead to a robust Th17 cellular and humoral immune response when untreated.