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Towards a new Penicillin for Rheumatic Fever prevention

51 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Dianne Sika-Paotonu
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Pacific Health Knowledge Translation Grant
Lay summary
Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) is an autoimmune condition caused by untreated group A streptococcal (GAS) infection of the throat and possibly skin. Multiple or severe attacks of ARF can cause permanent heart damage known as rheumatic heart disease (RHD). RHD remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is recognised that Maori and Pacific children and youth remain disproportionately affected by ARF and RHD. Painful monthly injections of Benzathine Penicillin G (BPG) are given intramuscularly for 10 years or more to prevent GAS infections that can lead to ARF and cause RHD. A reformulated BPG is desperately needed. The purpose of this work is to host two knowledge translation events in the Wellington area focused on connecting and engaging with our Pacific communities to support, disseminate and share research work and findings of direct relevance and importance to Pacific Peoples concerning ARF/RHD, and the Penicillin related work.